On the 6th of April 2022, the UK government launched a new online and postal system for individuals who want to apply for a divorce, trying to offer a more streamlined service. Take a moment to read through our overview of this new system and learn about how the process works once you decide to apply.

Who Can Apply for an Online Divorce?

To use the online divorce process, you will need to have been married for more than one year at the time of your application and be in a situation where your marriage has broken down irretrievably. If you are in a same sex relationship, you will need to ensure that you are legally married as there is a different online application for people in a civil partnership.

Choosing How to Apply

Before you can pay and complete your online divorce you will need to decide whether you are applying on your own or whether you and your ex-partner are going to apply together. If your application is amicable and there is no risk to the safety of either person then a joint application is a good decision. However, if there are any concerns about being able to cooperate with your partner or you think they will disagree with the application then applying on your own may be more sensible.

How Much Does an Online Divorce Cost?

Before your divorce application can begin to be processed you will need to think about the fees that you will incur. The online divorce costs £593 and this will need to be paid before you can be sent notification that your application has been issued.

However, if you have a low income or are on selected benefits then you could get help from the Government to pay them – this support can also be applied for online.

This Court fee covers the Court issuing the application only.  It does not cover any legal advice.

What You Need to Get Started

The online application requires you to share some specific information in order to get started:

  • The names and addresses of both parties
  • The telephone numbers and email addresses of both parties
  • Your original marriage certificate/certified copy of your marriage certificate
  • If your name has changed since you married then you will need to provide evidence of this
  • Certified translation of your marriage certificate if it is not in English

Once you have submitted this information, you will need to navigate through the online application following each step before finally submitting the request.

What Happens After You Apply?

Once your application has been submitted it will then be checked for accuracy before you receive the notification that your application has been issued along with a case number and a copy of the application that has been stamped by the Courts and Tribunal Service.

If you apply together then you will also get an acknowledge receipt and you will need to be willing to work together throughout the process to ensure it happens seamlessly for you both. If you apply on your on then the application will be sent to your partner with clear instructions of what they need to do to respond and agree or respond and contest. If they do not reply at all, the courts will give you clear instructions on what to do next.

How Long Does it Take?

From initially applying for your divorce to applying for your conditional order takes 20 weeks. After this is completed you will then need to wait 6 weeks and 1 day before you can apply to finalise the divorce.

Getting Expert Legal Support

Going through a divorce is stressful, especially when you are trying to understand all the legal requirements as well as managing your emotions and expectations.

The Online Divorce process does not resolve the financial issues and claims between you.  These would remain existing even after the Final Divorce Order is made, unless you get a Financial Order through a separate process.  This can be complicated and also difficult to agree.  Making sure you understand your legal position when getting this finalised is crucial to ensure that any Final Order made on the finances is right for your future, as if you enter into it by agreement, it is extremely rare that you could appeal it or later challenge it.

If you need advice or help navigating your divorce or need specialist input for a complex divorce then Dootsons Solicitors are here to help with quality advice and support. Get in touch with us to arrange an initial consultation at a time that works for you.  We offer fixed fees and help you navigate matters efficiently and cost-effectively.