I want a divorce. What should I do?


Jane Auty

The decision to separate or divorce is a personal one which can only be made by the individuals involved. If you decide to separate, then you can do this informally and reach agreement as to how your assets are to be divided.  It can often be too soon to think about divorce, and if this is too difficult or is not something you wish to consider, the agreement you reach as to your financial settlement can be formalised in a Separation Agreement.

A Separation Agreement is a written agreement that will set out the financial arrangements you have agreed and can cover areas such as what is going to happen to the family home and what will happen to savings. The separation agreement will show your intentions, but it is not a court order. Since the 6th of April 2022, couples are able to obtain a ‘no-fault’ divorce under new legislation which eliminates the need to place blame on either party for the breakdown of the marriage. The process is relatively straightforward as both parties, or their respective solicitors, can apply for the divorce utilising the online Court Portal which means the application is completed entirely online. The petition for a divorce can be applied for by either party solely, or as a joint application. Once the petition has been issued by the Court and acknowledged (and undisputed) by both parties, a 20-week cooling off period begins allowing couples time to reflect on their decision for divorce and make plans for the future, such as the division of assets and childcare arrangements.

► Learn more about our Divorce & Separation services here.

Once the 20-week cooling off period has passed, the Applicant(s) can apply for the Conditional Order (previously known as a Decree Nisi). At this stage, a Consent Order can be entered into finalising the financial agreement made between parties. 6 weeks and 1 day after the Conditional Order is granted, the Applicant(s) can apply for the Final Order (previously known as a Decree Absolute) which confirms that the marriage/Civil Partnership has officially been dissolved. However, it is to be noted that the divorce and finances may not be concluded within 6 months (the least amount of time the divorce process takes) if the finances cannot be agreed between parties and an application to Court needs to be made, or if one party does not acknowledge the divorce petition.

What is a Separation Agreement?

A separation agreement is useful if you haven’t yet decided whether to divorce or dissolve your civil partnership. A separation agreement is a written agreement that usually sets out your financial arrangements while you’re separated.

What is a Decree Nisi?

A Decree Nisi, now formally known as a Conditional Order, is a document issued by the Court that states that the court do not see any reason why you cannot divorce. The Decree Nisi/Conditional Order is issued after a 20-week cooling of period has been served.

Want to know more about Divorce, Separation, Mediation, and Collaborative Law?

If you are thinking of separating or requesting a divorce, be sure to read our other Blogs for more information.

If I were to separate or divorce what would I be entitled to?

If I were to separate or divorce what will happen with the children?

I want a divorce. What should I do?

When I divorce will I have to sell the house?

When we divorce I only want what is fair

About Jane Auty

Jane is one of our most experienced solicitors here at Thornton Jones Solicitors having qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and has specialised in Family Law since qualification and is known for providing practical and robust advice in all aspects of matrimonial finance.

She has extensive experience in guiding clients through all aspects of family law breakdown.  Jane has a strong reputation for dealing with complex high net worth financial cases frequently where there is an overseas element, business assets, pensions, trusts or a farming element. Jane also deals with pre/post nuptial settlements.

Jane is a trained and trusted collaborative lawyer, from 2006 has assisted clients in navigating their divorce or separation outside the court process. She is committed to dealing with all issues cooperatively and constructively, with a view to reaching a resolution by agreement without the uncertainty, cost and delay of the court process. Jane is a member of collaborative law groups in Leeds and Wakefield.

She is a member of Resolution, which is a body of family lawyers committed to adopting a non-confrontational and conciliatory approach.

Outside of work Jane suffers the ups and downs of being a season ticket holder at Leeds United, is still in love with Bielsa, and is hoping for a swift return to the Premier League. Jane loves attending live music – preferable rock/indie – (nothing mainstream) and can be daily found pounding the swimming pool in an effort to remain fit despite her advancing years.

The content of this blog post is for information only and does not constitute formal legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Thornton Jones Solicitors Limited accepts no liability for any such reliance upon this content. Where the post includes links to external websites, Thornton Jones Solicitors Limited accepts no responsibility for the content of such sites. Any link to a third party website should not be construed as endorsement by Thornton Jones Solicitors Limited of any content, products or services which are outside our direct control.

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