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What is the process for Divorce or Dissolution of Civil Partnership?

Divorce & Family

The process of ending a marriage or civil partnership is often an emotionally challenging period and can have a financial impact on all family members. However, there comes a point in many relationships when couples decide that a divorce or dissolution of a partnership is necessary.

As your divorce lawyers, Ward & Rider’s expert team are here to guide you and help you through the process, with a view to putting your best interests first.

Our specialist divorce lawyers will listen to your needs and will outline your options at every stage of the divorce process, empowering you with the information you need to make your own informed decisions. At a period when you may be under an enormous amount of personal strain, we will assist you in making sound judgments and help you deal with the whole process as efficiently as you can, allowing you to focus your energy on all the other repercussions of a relationship breakdown.

The New Law

You may have seen on the news that the divorce law in England and Wales has now changed. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 came into force on 6th April 2022 and it introduced the idea of ‘no fault divorce’. This brought in three key changes:

  • You do not have to give reasons for the divorce or attribute any blame to the other party;
  • It allows parties to end their marriage jointly; and
    A party may only contest a on very limited grounds


As per the old law, you still need to show that you have been married for more than a year and you must declare that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. However, you do not have to give reasons as to why the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

Your Ward & Rider family lawyer will explain to you the steps which you will need to take, and give you a clear estimate of how long the divorce should take. The average time for a divorce is normally 6-8 months.

Our expert divorce lawyers are also experienced in obtaining less common decrees in marriage breakdown such as Judicial Separation Petitions and Nullity Decrees.


Under the new law, you must wait 20 weeks from the issuing of your application before you can apply for your conditional order (formally known as the Decree Nisi). For many, this presents the perfect opportunity to deal with the matrimonial finances arising from the marriage. Here at Ward and Rider, we can advise you on how best to protect your interests in the home and the finances (see Property & Financial Settlements) and the rights of any children (see Arrangements for children). This applies equally to same-sex relationships.

Many people will often think that if there are little to no matrimonial assets then you do not need to address matrimonial finances. This is incorrect. Your former husband can still make a claim against you or your estate in the future. Here at Ward and Rider, we have a team of experts who can advise you on ending the financial ties between you and your former spouse by way of a ‘clean break order’.

We are fully aware that for many the end of a relationship presents certain financial pressures. We use modern and efficient working practices to keep costs to a minimum. We will give you a clear estimate of costs and if new costs arise we will keep you informed every step of the way.

Not using an experienced divorce lawyer can be a false economy and we always aim to ensure our clients achieve the best financial outcome possible.

We can also speak your language! We have expert lawyers that can speak to you in a number of different languages including Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi.

So contact us now for a free initial consultation with our divorce and finance lawyers – we put your best interests first!

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Still have questions?

One of our expert solicitors would be happy to provide answers. Get in touch with Ward & Rider Solicitors today to speak to us, or to book a consultation.