No Fault Divorce
How does it work?
Either party can make the application, or the application can be made jointly. There is no advantage or disadvantage to making an individual or joint application and it makes no difference to the financial settlement.
Couples can now get divorced purely on the basis that the marriage has broken down. Therefore the old reasons - adultery, separation, unreasonable behaviour, desertion - no longer apply. It is also no longer possible to contest a divorce: so once the application has been made, the divorce will be issued.
From the time of application there is now a mandatory 20 week wait until the application for the first part of the divorce can be made - now called the Conditional Order. The entire divorce will therefore take approximately 6-7 months, assuming everything goes smoothly.
The application for the financial consent order can only be made once the Conditional Order has been issued.
The 20 week wait before you can obtain the Conditional Order is to give time to agree the financial and child arrangements and to reflect on whether reconciliation is possible.
The most important fact that most divorcing couples do not realise is that the divorce process in itself, does not deal with the financial settlement i.e. how are the assets of the marriage - property, savings, investments, pensions etc - are going to be shared between you.
The process that deals with the financial settlement is a separate process from the divorce, which only dissolves the marriage.