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Divorce & Separation

We are Family Law Solicitors, specialising only in dealing with family law legal issues arising from the breakdown of your relationship. We offer up-to-date legal expertise and a Divorce & Separation service you can both trust and rely on.

Divorce and Dissolution of Civil Partnerships

At Barnes Clark Family Law, we appreciate the major impact the breakdown of your relationship can have on your whole family, both emotionally and financially. Our aim is to guide you expertly through each, and every, stage of the divorce process, clearly outlining your options and providing you with the information you need to make your own decisions. We aim to help you achieve a constructive resolution of your differences by the quickest and easiest route available to you.

Please note the process for dissolution of Civil Partnership is the same as divorce. Where the term “divorce” is used, it should be taken to include dissolution of civil partnership.

The Process

The process for dissolution of Civil Partnerships is the same as divorce. Where the term “divorce” is used, it should be taken to include dissolution of civil partnership.

How do I get a divorce in England and Wales?

    To initiate divorce proceedings you need to show that you have been married for at least 1 year and also show that that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. From 6th April 2022, the only way to divorce is on a No Fault Basis.  The Divorce Application, as it is now called, is evidenced by a statement that your marriage has broken down irretrievably.

    This is a huge change and the first major change to divorce law since 1973.

    What is the Divorce Process?

    The Divorce Application replaces the Divorce Petition. The person issuing the application is called the Applicant, and the other party is called the Respondent.

    The first stage of the divorce process is to prepare the documents. The “Application” contains details of the parties and sets out that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

    The Application is issued via the online Court portal and the once the Application has been issued then a copy of the Application will be served by email, with a hard postal copy on your spouse, the Respondent. The Respondent is then asked to complete an Acknowledgement of Service form stating whether they agree with the divorce. If the Respondent does not defend the Application, and there will be a very limited basis for doing so under the new regime, then 20 weeks after the Divorce Application has been issued you can apply for the Conditional Order (formerly Decree Nisi). 6 weeks and one day after the Conditional Order was granted, you can apply for the Final Order (formerly Decree Absolute).

    Is there a Court fee?

    There is a court fee of £593, which is paid upon issuing the Application. It is a good idea to try to agree who is going to contribute what towards the costs of the Application. We can advise you as to your options.

    What if the Respondent does not agree?

    Unfortunately, if your spouse does not agree to divorce, this makes matters more complicated. We can provide you with specific advice, should this be the case.

    What is a Conditional Order?

    This is the mid-way point of divorce proceedings. It is also the point at which the Court can consider making an order to resolve financial matters. As stated above under the new Divorce regime you can apply for a Conditional Order 20 weeks after the date of issue of the Divorce Application.

    What is a Final Order?

    Six weeks and one day after the Conditional Order has been granted, the person issuing the divorce can apply for a Final Order. At this point, the marriage is dissolved.

    Can we apply jointly for a Divorce?

    Under the new Divorce Regime, it is possible to make a joint application for Divorce. Divorce is however complicated and there are many reasons when you come to discuss financial issues and/or child arrangements as to why you may need separate advice. We do not offer Joint Applications as we believe that it is important that you are each able to obtain specific advice and that we serve you best by acting for one party.

    What about Financial Matters?

    Financial arrangements upon divorce should be resolved. Please see our Financial & Property page and contact us to see how we can assist you further.

    What is Judicial Separation?

    Judicial Separation is the same process as divorce but there is no Final Order, which means the Court officially recognises the separation but you cannot remarry. This process is usually used by people with deep religious or personal beliefs that conflict with being divorced.

    What about Arrangements for the Children?

    If arrangements for the children cannot be agreed then you may need specific advice. Read more about Child Arrangements.

    Can I do the divorce myself?

    The short answer is yes you can.

    Unfortunately, however, everybody’s divorce & separation circumstances are different, and trying to resolve matters yourself at such an emotional time can often cause difficulties further down the line.

    We are here to advise you of all the ends that need tying up to ensure that once you have dealt with the issues that arise from divorce & separation you can get on with your life, comfortable in the knowledge that nothing is going to raise its head in years to come. Whilst of course you will have to pay for legal advice, it will be worth it to have this peace of mind.


    We would always recommend that you consider making a will if divorce proceedings are being considered, so that you can avoid assets passing to your spouse in the event of your death before the divorce is concluded. If you die without a will, then your estate may simply pass to your spouse under the rules of intestacy.

    You should also consider amending or revising your will once the Final Order has been pronounced. This is because divorce will affect the validity of any previous will you may have.

    For further information, or to arrange an appointment please contact us on 01274 861096 (Liversedge) or 01423 637272 (Harrogate) or email enquiries@barnesclarkfamily.law. Please note that we offer a free half hour appointment for new clients.



    Mediation helps you make decisions without spending months locked into costly litigation proceedings. 

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    Financial & Property

    For any couple faced with separation, finances will be a difficult and hotly contested area of discussion.

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    Arrangements for Children

    We work sympathetically with both parents to avoid any unnecessary upset for the children involved.

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    Contact Us

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