Divorce and Matrimonial Finances Proceedings

Posted: 1st March 2023

In one of our previous posts, we discussed the new no-fault divorce law that was introduced in April 2022. As a result of this change in the law it is now much easier to obtain a divorce, as there is no need to prove that the breakdown of the relationship was the fault of one spouse or it is quicker as in the absence of fault you no longer need to wait until you have been separated for 2 years to commence a divorce.

Once a divorce application has been submitted, there is a 20-week waiting period before the “Conditional Order” is granted. The Conditional Order was formerly known as the Decree Nisi. This is a document that confirms the Court has not identified any reason as to why a divorce should not be granted.  The Final Decree (formerly the Decree Absolute) can be applied for 6 weeks after the Conditional Order, which formally dissolves the marriage.

It is important to note that the granting of a divorce does not end the financial ties between the parties. In order to resolve any financial matters a Court application is required; this is necessary whether the parties have reached a financial agreement or not.  If the parties have reached an agreement, this will be presented to the Court as a Consent Order and will be reviewed by a Judge on paper. If the Judge believes the agreement to be suitable, they will make a final Financial Order bringing the agreement into effect. Alternatively, if the parties are unable to reach a financial agreement, potentially three Court hearings will be required. Following the final hearing, a Judge will make an Order they believe to be suitable if an agreement is not reached during the Court proceedings

A final Financial Order cannot be made unless the Conditional Order of divorce has been granted.

Applying for a final Financial Order is a fundamental procedure that can sometimes be overlooked by both self-representing parties and professionals but can easily be avoided. Without a final Financial Order, the financial obligations between the parties will continue notwithstanding the granting of a divorce.

At EMG Solicitors, we are here to ensure that your case is progressed promptly and that the correct procedures are followed. If you have any queries relating to your divorce or financial matters, one of our team will be happy to assist.

We’re here to help.

To enquire or book an appointment, please contact your nearest office or email us at [email protected] and we will be in touch.