No fault divorce was introduced in April 2022 under the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 (Divorce Act 2020) and marked a major turning point for family law in England and Wales. 

Previously, married couples and those in civil partnerships who wanted to separate had to cite one of five grounds for divorce or dissolution to apportion blame for the relationship’s breakdown, such as because of adultery, desertion or unreasonable behaviour.  

This fault-based system was criticised for creating unnecessary conflict between the parties that made reaching a mutually acceptable agreement much more difficult.  

Under the new system that came into force on 6 April 2022, divorcing couples do not need to assign blame and there is now only one ground for divorce: the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. No-fault divorce means that couples can now separate more amicably, saving stress, money and time. 

In this blog, our Divorce Solicitors answer some frequently asked questions about no-fault divorce and consider what the no-fault divorce process involves. 

How do you get a divorce in the UK? 

To get divorced in England and Wales, you must follow a set legal process.  

1. Speak to a solicitor. 

Specialist legal advice from a family law solicitor with experience in divorce and civil partnership dissolution is recommended for anyone considering a divorce.  

Going through a divorce or deciding to dissolve a civil partnership can be difficult, even if the break-up is amicable.  

At Beverley Morris & Co. Solicitors, our specialist family lawyers have the knowledge and expertise to help in all aspects of divorce, separation and civil partnership dissolution. 

Regardless of the complexity of your situation, the sooner you seek legal advice, the better. There are always finances, property and asset rights to consider and, when children are involved, there will be concerns over parental rights and responsibilities. 

If you are considering starting divorce proceedings and need some specialist legal advice about the no-fault divorce process, get in touch with Beverley Morris & Co.  

Our family law team in Blackheath, London will be happy to speak with you regarding all areas of divorce and separation and civil partnership dissolution. 

Call us on 020 8852 4433 or click here to make an online enquiry.  

2. File an application. 

To start divorce proceedings, you must make an application through the HM Courts and Tribunals Service Divorce Portal, which can be done either online or by post. One party can give notice that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, or a couple can make a joint application if they both agree that the marriage has ended. 

The court will then process the application. If you and your spouse have made a joint application, you then enter a 20-week ‘cooling-off period”.   

For sole applications, the other party will be served by the court and be required to file a response within seven days of being served. 

3. Apply for a Conditional Order.  

After the 20-week cooling-off period has expired, the applicant or applicants confirm that they wish to proceed with the divorce by applying for a Conditional Order.  

This legal document is the first stage of the divorce and confirms that the court cannot see any reason why the divorce cannot go ahead.  

The 20-week cooling-off period was introduced under the no-fault divorce law. It is designed to give couples time to consider their decision and to make relevant arrangements regarding children, property and finances. 

4. Apply for a Final Order.  

After the Conditional Order has been granted, the parties must wait at least six weeks and one day before applying for the Final Order. Once the court has granted the Final Order, the marriage is officially ended. 

Do you need a solicitor for a no-fault divorce? 

A solicitor can help with divorce proceedings in various ways. The benefits of using a solicitor for a no-fault divorce include:- 

  • Help with the paperwork. 
  • Fostering communication between the parties. 
  • Assisting with the arrangements for children, property and other marital assets. 

Even if you think your divorce is straightforward, it is wise to speak to a trusted family law solicitor who will be able to provide invaluable advice and ensure that your interests are protected. 

How much does a no-fault divorce cost? 

There is a £593 fee to apply for a divorce although people on benefits or on a low income might be entitled to help. Any solicitors’ fees are on top of this. 

How long does a no-fault divorce take? 

Getting a no-fault divorce takes a minimum of six months.  

Can a no-fault divorce be contested? 

No. A no-fault divorce cannot be contested except in extremely limited and rare circumstances. You can apply for a no-fault divorce even if your spouse or civil partner does not agree. 

Divorce Solicitors Blackheath 

Our family law team at Beverley Morris & Co. have significant experience in representing clients throughout the process of a divorce or civil partnership dissolution, as well as cohabitation disputes or couples going through a separation.  

We can provide specialist advice and guidance on your rights and any financial issues that arise due to the breakdown of a relationship. 

Our family law lawyers also have wide-ranging experience in all child-related issues and can assist in respect of contact and residence disputes between parents, child abduction issues and adoption and other care matters involving the local authority. 

We provide legal advice across a broad spectrum of family law issues, helping individuals and couples resolve disputes. Our areas of expertise include but are not limited to: 

  • Divorce, separation and dissolution of civil partnerships. 
  • Pre-marital and pre-civil partnership agreements. 
  • Post-marital and post-civil partnership agreements. 
  • Financial arrangements following relationship breakdown. 
  • Arrangements for children including adoption, contact, residence and leave to remove from the jurisdiction. 

We understand the sensitivity of family law matters and offer a personal and practical approach. Our experienced family law solicitors will ensure that you are provided with caring, confidential advice, tailored to your unique legal matter. 

For more information or to speak to one of the team, call 020 8852 4433 or email 

Alternatively, click here to arrange a call back.