So often you hear one party being “taken to the cleaners” by the other when divorcing or complaints of astronomical solicitors’ fees, yet rarely do we focus on cases where a “quick” or amicable divorce can be achieved.

Whilst it is widely accepted that these amicable divorces are not as frequent, to be expected during such a major life event, they have many advantages.

In 2020, prior to the No Fault Divorce system being introduced, we had a case that was just over 4 months from start to finish divorce including the approval of a financial order, which was a record for our department, but it showcased how everyone co-operating together with the use of the online court system. 

The parties had discussed matters direct and reached an agreement they were both happy to compromise on.  They had already been open and transparent with each other as to their respective financial positions. They had decided not to engage in financial disclosure or mediation but rather have their agreement formalised into a consent order. 

Whilst not undertaking formal financial disclosure in the main for legal representatives to consider and advise appropriately, there are some lessons that can be learnt in respect of open communication between parties. By focusing on the end point, the parties in this instance were able to navigate the turbulence felt by separation with their goal in mind. Their separation was completed swiftly, and they could move forward focusing on their child and planning their futures independent of the other.

This divorce was enabled by the court’s divorce portal that opened in early 2020 and progressed to invite submission of agreed financial orders for the court’s approval from July 2020, which has changed the landscape for how we now deal with divorce/agreed orders.

Implications of divorce in court

In April 2022, the no fault divorce system was introduced so setting out blame in a divorce petition fell away.  The intention being to try to reduce hostility from the outset.  The court online portal is now the only way to submit an application for divorce, financial remedies orders or agreed financial orders which means it is not as quick as I had experienced in 2020.

The No Fault Divorce timeline means that you are unable to obtain a final order dissolving the marriage before 6 months and in reality, will likely be c. 8 to 9 months. Agreed financial orders once filed with the court are usually returned within 4 weeks so that is much quicker than that experienced in 2019 being c. 4-5 months when submitting the same on paper.

There are times where an amicable divorce is not achievable and an application to court to deal with the financial aspects of the separation is necessary. Due to staff shortages and a significant influx of demand, financial remedy proceedings are not a quick, cheap, or easy option.  The demands on the court are significant meaning from issuing of an application to a final hearing it is likely your case would not be concluded within a year or perhaps 18 months.  Parties need to be aware of the likely delay they will experience but also the emotional effects of such, all of which should be considered when composing a proposal for settlement.

When all is over, did it really matter who kept the toaster, absolutely not.  Seeking to achieve terms that you can live with, absolutely yes.

How can we help?

How can we help?

Our Private Law Family Team are experts in separation and can advise on the best route for your best outcome.

Contact us today on 01740 646000 to speak to our team, or fill in an online enquiry form and someone will be in touch.

Call: 01740 646000