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Following the introduction of No Fault Divorce  on 6 April 2022 ( under the Divorce Dissolution and Separation Act 2020) divorces can only be defended in very limited circumstances.

There is a minimum 26 week period from the issue of the Divorce papers until the marriage is officially terminated. This used to be on the decree absolute but is now called a final order.

This period is designed to give time to the parties to sort out their financial arrangements before they are divorced.


The rules on finances and property have not changed. To achieve legal finality on any agreement on finances the parties will need a court order. This can be granted by consent.

The point is that any orders made, even by consent, do not take effect until the final order. So couples might reach a financial agreement soon after the issue of the divorce papers but any court order, even by consent, cannot be made until a conditional order on the divorce has been granted ( minimum of 20 weeks from issue) and even then cannot take effect until a minimum of 26 weeks from the start of the divorce.



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