How divorce works
There are three parts to what we usually think of as a divorce. The bit that actually ends the marriage or civil partnership, the bit that agrees how you will divide the money or home, and the bit that makes arrangements for children if you have any. They are all dealt with separately and can be happening at the same time. At some stages, how far you have got with one of these bits affects the others.
|Arrangements for any children||Ending the marriage/civil partnership||Dividing the money or property|
These can be started at any time before or during the divorce
The Divorce or dissolution form is given to the court
This can only be started once the application for divorce is filed
The Decree Nisi/Conditional order could be delayed if there are still arguments about where the children are to live or how they will see their other parent
Decree Nisi/ Conditional order
The court can’t make a final financial order before the Decree Nisi/Conditional order is issued
The court may refuse to grant the Decree Absolute if arrangements for the children are not satisfactory
Decree Absolute/ Dissolution order
The financial order usually takes effect after you have been given the Decree Absolute
If you have experienced domestic abuse....
If you are divorcing because you have experienced domestic abuse, it is a really good idea to talk to a solicitor about your options as soon as possible. There are things you can do to protect yourself from further abuse, including getting a court order to prevent your ex-partner coming into your home or from harassing you any further.
You can find a family solicitor near you on the Resolution website (see 'Links to other websites' on the right). If you call around you may find one who can give you a free first appointment.
Women can get also get free advice from the Rights of Women advice line - 020 7251 6577 (telephone) or 020 7490 2562 (textphone) on Tuesdays 7pm-9pm, Wednesday 7pm-9pm, Thursday 7pm-9pm, and Fridays 12noon-2pm. See 'Links to other websites'.
Men can get practical advice and information about accessing specialist help from Men’s Advice Line 0808 801 0327 (free from landlines and most mobiles) Monday - Friday 9am-5pm or email email@example.com See 'Links to other websites'.