Family law and Divorce

In April 2022 the divorce process changed as the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act came into force. It is now not possible to place the blame on one person. Applicants can decide whether they process a sole application or a joint application, where both parties apply together.

The process has become less adversarial as a result, but it it can still be difficult to navigate and there are still some potential problems to avoid.

The Divorce Process

Separating couples can often find the administrative process of dissolving the marriage to be difficult.

There can be uncertainty and disagreement about fundamental issues such as whether they should file in one name or both, when the application should be made, and who will pay the costs.

The first step is to apply for the divorce. If filing a sole application, it is to be served and acknowledged by the other party. You need to wait 20 weeks from the court issuing the application, until you can continue by applying for a Conditional Order.

After 43 days (6 weeks and 1 day) from the Conditional Order being granted, you can apply for your Final Order, which finalises the divorce and ends the marriage.

If you have not agreed your finances once you have received your Conditional Order, it is strongly encouraged that you do it at this point. Most legal representatives would suggest you only apply for your final order, once a financial consent order has been granted.

Finance and Divorce

A common misconception is that finances are automatically sorted as part of their divorce. Another common misconception is that couples do not need to sort their finances out as part of their divorce!

Divorce and financial settlement are two separate processes. When a divorce is finalised, the two spouses are still financially tied to one another, and still have rights over each others’ assets. To break this tie, they need a financial consent order.


Mediation and Divorce

You do not need to have made an application, or even have agreed to apply for a divorce before attending mediation.

Mediators can give you information about the process and explain common legal terms, as well as assist you with understanding your various options. 

This will put you and your ex-partner in better position to make the necessary decisions in a way that is best for both of you. As a result you may be able to avoid unnecessary disputes and save a lot of time and money.

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When couples separate they are often faced with having to somehow afford to run two homes from the same, or less, income than they had previously. Usually this is very difficult and in some cases not possible at all.

Property & Living Arrangements

When couples separate, their living arrangements both in the short term and long term can be difficult to agree. If you co-own a property there will be questions about if and when it is to be sold, where everyone will live and how the equity will be divided.

Child Arrangements

Children thrive with structure and routine, and separated parents find coparenting easier once expectations and boundaries are set. Agreeing child arrangements in advance of issues cropping up can help alleviate tension.

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