Family Solicitors

Online Divorce

No-Fault Divorce was launched on 6th April 2022. This service follows the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act which allows couples bound in marriage or civil partnership to separate on the basis of irretrievable breakdown in their relationship. It has also allowed couples to independently, or jointly, apply for a divorce online.

Are you eligible for a divorce? The conditions are

  • You need to have been married for at least one year;
  • You marriage is legally recognised in the UK; and
  • Your marriage has irretrievably broken down.

What you need to start the online application

  • Full names and address of both people
  • Any contact telephone numbers
  • Email addresses if you prefer communication this way. Your partner can be served papers by email if you have their email address to which only they have access to
  • The original marriage certificate or a certified copy (and a certified translation if it’s not in English)
  • £593 for the court fee which is paid online with either a credit or debit card.
  • You may be eligible for help if you are on a low income or in receipt of benefit
  • You will need to make an application to see if you’re eligible by completing a form –  EX160. You can get this application form online or complete an online application to get help with a fees reference number
  • Create a secure online account with and you will be directed through the process
  • You can start an application on your own or go through this process jointly with your spouse.

After you apply (either jointly or separately)

  • Your application will be checked.
  • Provided everything is in order, they will send out:
  1. a notice that your application has been issued,
  2. a copy of your application stamped by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service,
  3. an ‘acknowledge receipt’ (joint applications only) and,
  4. a case number.
  • If you have applied jointly then you will need to complete the documents together which means that you will need to cooperate throughout the process.
  • If you apply on your own then your spouse will receive a copy of the application and information about how to respond to it as well as a time limit. 
  • You will be notified when the acknowledgement has been completed.
  • If you don’t get a response at all, the court will advise you what to do next.

 Applying for the conditional order

  • You will have to wait 20 weeks from the date that your online application was issued by the court to apply for a conditional order, the court will tell you when this is. 
  • You will need to complete an application form online for which the court will process. If you apply too early the application will be rejected.
  • The court will not look at the divorce application, the acknowledgment and must be satisfied that you are entitled to be divorced.
  • You will then receive a notice confirming you’re entitled to a divorce and a date will be given for the conditional order to be made.
  • You will then receive a copy of the conditional order. 

Applying for the final order

  • The first date you can apply for your final order 6 weeks and a day after the date of your conditional order. An early application will be rejected.
  • You are not divorced until the final order is made, this is when your marriage formally comes to an end.
  • The court will send you the final order, you must keep this safe to be able to evidence your divorce.

Other things to think about

  • Being divorced does not mean that you cannot bring a financial claim against your spouse now or in the future. 
  • It is recommended that you deal with your financial settlement at the same time that you are divorcing.
  • It is important to make or amend your Will when you divorce.
  • Don’t forget that remarriage can prevent financial claims being made if the original application for a divorce did not specify a wish to seek a financial settlement or you received the application for divorce from your partner and didn’t make a financial claim yourself. 
  • You must take legal advice before remarriage if there is no financial settlement order in place.

If you are seeking further advice or support in your online divorce process, contact our expert family law team on 0800 015 0340 or

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