We set out below the main steps you need to take to obtain a final divorce order. You will normally deal with financial issues and matters regarding children separately from this process.

1. Send Divorce Application To Court

Your divorce application is made on Form D8. We can prepare the paperwork for you or you can complete the forms yourself and lodge them with the court by post or online. Form D8 can be signed by one spouse or by both (a joint application). There is no need to include any reasons for the breakdown of your relationship. You simply need to indicate that the marriage or civil partnership has broken down irretrievably. If you are represented by a solicitor he or she must discuss the possibility of a reconciliation with you and include a ‘statement tor reconciliation’ with your application.

2. Service Of Divorce Application

Once the court approves and issues your application a copy is served on any respondent (your spouse or civil partner) together with a form for acknowledging service and a notice of proceedings. If the application is a joint one the court will still send a notice of proceedings to both parties. Service can be carried out by your legal representatives or by the court

3. Acknowledgement Of Service

The respondent must file an acknowledgment of service with the court within 14 days of the application being served on him or her. This is a simple form which simply asks the respondent to confirm receipt of the divorce application paperwork.

Where a notice of proceedings is sent to joint applicants as described above each joint applicant must acknowledge receipt of the notice of proceedings within 14 days of receipt of the notice.

4. Disputing The Application For A Divorce Order

Under the no-fault system of divorce that exists in England and Wales there are very limited ways for a respondent to dispute the application. But he or she may argue for example that the marriage is invalid or there may be a dispute about the jurisdiction of the English court to hear the divorce application. A respondent who wishes to dispute proceedings must file and serve an ‘answer’ to the application within 21 days beginning from when the acknowledgment of service was required.

5. Application To Court To Make Conditional Order Of Divorce or Dissolution

20 weeks after the court has issued the application (Step 2 above) it is in a position to make the formal conditional order of divorce or dissolution. It can only do so however if the time for filing the acknowledgment of service has expired and there has been no indication that the proceedings will be disputed. When applying for the conditional order the applicant (or applicants) must confirm that none of the information in the original application has changed since it was issued. In this way the applicant(s) verifies that he or she still wishes the divorce or dissolution to proceed. The application is made on Form D84.

6. Conditional Order

Unless the case is disputed the court will issue the first divorce decree, called a conditional order. This confirms that the applicant(s) is entitled to a divorce. There is no need for you to attend court and the order will be sent to you or your legal representatives. If costs have been claimed an order is also made for them to be paid if appropriate.

Remember, you are not divorced until you have obtained a final order.

If you have not completed a financial settlement by this point you need to think hard (with our advice) as to whether you should proceed to final order stage before a full financial settlement.

7. Final Order

When six weeks have elapsed from the date of the conditional order the spouse or civil partner who applied for the divorce must give notice to the other for the conditional order to be made final (form D36). If the applicant fails to do this within 3 months the respondent may make the application for a final order. If the original application was made jointly then both applicants can seek the final order. If only one of the joint applicants wishes to apply he or she must give notice to the other.

Once the final order has been issued the court will send a copy to all parties and/or their legal representatives.

You are finally divorced and are free to marry.

 

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About The Team

We are a specialist divorce and international divorce family law team, advising clients in the United Kingdom (specifically England and Wales) and throughout the world. We have a very people–orientated approach to working with clients. Henry Brookman has practised law for over 45 years, and our team has a wide range of skills and expertise. We are recommended by the Legal 500 and have been awarded the Law Society’s quality mark, Lexcel.

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Henry Brookman

With over 45 years' experience, Henry Brookman is the senior member of the team. He is described by The Legal 500 as ‘shrewd, savvy, sagacious and highly experienced’.

Partner

Philip Morton

Recommended by The Legal 500, Philip is an expert in all areas of family law, including domestic and international financial disputes, fraud and commercial dispute resolution.

Partner

Natasha Slabas

Expert in all areas of family law, often involving cases that have an international element, including work in relation to financial settlements following divorce.

Partner

Aziz Malik

Aziz is a Partner at the firm and is highly regarded for his expertise on financial matters in divorce and is recommended by the Legal 500.

Partner

Mark Rennie

Mark is the Group Head of the Horsham Family Law team. He specialises in all areas of matrimonial law, including complex divorce and financial disputes, and is recommended by The Legal 500.

Partner

Nigel Winter

A highly experienced solicitor, Nigel has expertise in collaborative law, divorce, contested litigation, relationship agreements, and children matters. Nigel is recommended by The Legal 500.

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Samantha Jago

Partner at our Guildford office and recommended by The Legal 500, Samantha has specialist expertise in divorce, children matters, complex international cases, and is a trained mediator.

Partner

Amanda Glass

Amanda is a highly experienced family law partner providing expert advice on all aspects of family law, divorce and separation with an emphasis on financial remedy cases.

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Joanna Potbury

Family law specialist based in Brighton advising on divorce, cohabitation agreements, children, post-nuptial agreements, and domestic violence. Joanna is recommended by The Legal 500.

Senior Associate

Kirsty Kelleher

Kirsty is a specialist family law solicitor recommended by The Legal 500. An expert in divorce, financial matters, child-related disputes and contentious probate cases.

Senior Associate

Kevin Danagher

Kevin specialises exclusively in family law, advising on all aspects of relationship breakdown, divorce, same sex marriage, marital agreements, and international family cases.

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Ella Welsby

Known for her sensitivity and discretion combined with significant expertise, Ella advises on all family issues including high-value and multi-jurisdiction divorce and complex financial and children matters.

Senior Associate

Gemma Garrett

Based in Horsham, Gemma is a specialist advising on all areas of family law including divorce and separation (often involving jurisdiction issues), complex financial matters, and children matters.

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Susan Hayes

Susan qualified as a solicitor in 1992 and is based at our Brighton office. She is a longstanding member of the Law Society Specialist Children Panel and Family Law Panel. Susan is also a trained Collaborative Lawyer.

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Jennifer Douglas

Jennifer is a talented solicitor, recommended by The Legal 500 and experienced in all elements of family law, including high net worth financial proceedings, Children Act proceedings.

Associate Solicitor

Gavin Yeung

Recommended by The Legal 500, Gavin has excellent experience in family law including divorce and financial proceedings and international child abduction proceedings.

Associate Solicitor

Lauren Moir

Lauren is a highly regarded specialist family law solicitor, based at our Guildford office. She advises on divorce, family finances, children matters, domestic abuse, cohabitee issues, and relationship agreements.

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Rachael Au

Rachael is a highly capable member of the family team in Brighton. She specialises in family law, advising on divorce, civil partnerships, financial matters, and children issues.

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Amber Matheson

Based at the Guildford office, Amber has experience dealing with family matters including divorce, finances, separation after cohabitation, arrangements for children and leave to remove cases.

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Amelia Groom

Amelia has experience across a full range of family matters, including divorce, complex disputes regarding finances that range from trusts through to cryptocurrencies, and arrangements for children.

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Eva is an AAT qualified accounts manager and holds full AAT membership (MAAT). She gained her degree in financial accounting from the University of Economics in Bulgaria.

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Victoria Delatouche

Victoria is a highly experienced Legal Secretary and a long-standing member of the team. She provides secretarial support for the office.

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Michelle provides secretarial support to Henry Brookman. A very experienced family law secretary, Michelle has worked in law for over 12 years.

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Patricia is an experienced secretary and office administrator, handling the calls that come into the office, greeting clients, and managing office presentation.

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