We know that ending a marriage is a difficult decision to make and that it can be a traumatic experience for the entire family.

At Ashtons Legal, we have a number of experienced divorce solicitors based in Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich who can help you through the divorce process.

We will be able to assist you with simplifying the divorce procedure and help to minimise costs, time and the anxiety of bringing the marriage to an end. We can provide a sympathetic, knowledgeable and swift service.

There are many questions relating to divorce that requires careful consideration, and the advice of someone who can really help and give you the benefit of years of experience in dealing with the problems you are facing is invaluable.

A step-by-step guide to divorce

We offer a choice of two divorce services to suit your situation and budget:

  • our fixed fee service provides peace of mind in terms of the costs of the divorce
  • we also offer a bespoke divorce service for those clients who prefer a more individual approach tailored to meet your needs
  • the family law team at Ashtons Legal does not offer legal aid.

What is a no-fault divorce?

On 6 April 2022, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 came into effect across England and Wales. This change aims to modernise the laws regarding divorce and reduce conflict by removing the need to assign blame to a partner during a divorce or separation.

The term ‘no-fault divorce’ refers to the fact that there is no longer any need to give a reason for the end of the marriage. Previously, anyone applying for a divorce had to give one of five accepted reasons for the relationship ending, which were:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion
  • Separation for two or more years (if both spouses agreed to the divorce)
  • Separation for five or more years (the consent of both spouses was not needed).

This requirement has now been removed, so there is no longer any need to assign blame or wait years to get a divorce. The whole divorce process has been updated to reflect a more modern view on marriage.

What changes in divorce law have been implemented alongside the introduction of no-fault divorce?

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 has introduced several key changes that alter the divorce process.

To begin with, the application process has been adapted to be more collaborative, allowing both sole and joint applications. The divorce application will no longer need to point blame at an individual or provide proof. Instead, it must simply contain a statement of irretrievable breakdown to confirm that the relationship has run its course.

Once the divorce court has officially ‘issued’ the divorce, there will be a new minimum 20-week wait before you can apply for the interim Conditional Order. This has been introduced to allow couples time to properly consider their decision to divorce and make any necessary arrangements regarding finances and childcare.

Additionally, once the Conditional Order has been issued, the applicants will have to wait a further six weeks to apply for the Final Order (this was already part of the existing divorce laws). In total, this means that under the new laws, a divorce will take a minimum of six months.

Other key changes include the removal of the ability to contest or defend a divorce in almost all circumstances and updating key terms into plain English.

Speak to our divorce law solicitors

For help with divorce law, please contact our local offices in Bury St EdmundsCambridgeIpswich or Norwich.

To speak to a member of our team today, please fill in our enquiry form or call 0330 191 5711.


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