How to Apply For Divorce Online From £199
Your marriage has broken down and now you want to know how to get a divorce online – because it’s quicker, easier and cheaper, but where do you start?
Before you find a divorce service that is suitable for your situation, you first need to ensure you qualify to apply for divorce.
To file a divorce petition with the court in England or Wales you must have been married for at least 12 months and one party to the divorce must live in England or Wales or regard England or Wales as their permanent residence if living abroad.
Our family law experts have put together a step-by-step guide covering online divorce applications; we dispel some common myths and give you practical tips on getting started.
Online Divorce Application Step-by-Step Guide
In the past, under the old divorce law, you needed to establish the breakdown of your marriage by using one of five available facts, or ‘grounds for divorce’, which were either fault-based or dependant on long periods of separation.
However, you no longer need to cite any of those grounds for divorce – you can now submit a divorce application solely on the basis of the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage – without having to blame your partner for adultery, desertion, or unreasonable behaviour or have lengthy separation periods of up to 5 years.
The new no-fault divorce law came into legal force on 6th April 2022 and also applies to civil partnership dissolution.
This change in divorce laws means that there is rarely ever the need to instruct divorce solicitors. “But, don’t I need a solicitor to get divorced?”
Put simply, 99% of the time, the answer will be no. You can easily start your divorce online for just £199 with our help.
There are 8 key stages to getting a divorce online that you must take in order to obtain a Final Order (decree absolute) to end your marriage, which are: –
1. Start the Divorce Application and Pay the Service Fee
One person or a couple can make a joint application to start a divorce petition on the basis of the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. You will need to pay the service fee, which starts from just £199 and is paid to file for divorce online. The divorce papers will then be drafted for you with a series of next steps to complete.
2. Acknowledgement of Service
The next step in the divorce process involves your partner being sent a copy of the divorce petition (Notice of Proceedings) and the Acknowledgement of Service (AOS) – Your partner, the respondent, has 14 days to complete and return the AOS to the court. They must return the AOS within 14 days of getting the notice of proceedings (if the court issued your divorce application on or after 6 April 2022) before the court will move the divorce application forward.
3. Twenty-week Reflection Period
The new divorce law has a minimum period of 20 weeks between the start of proceedings to confirming to the court that a conditional order of divorce is wanted. This mandatory ‘reflection period’ allows a greater opportunity for couples to reconcile or agree practical arrangements for the future where divorce is inevitable. Such matters could include child arrangements and the division of assets like pensions, property and savings & investments.
4. Application for Conditional Order (previously called Decree Nisi)
After the mandatory reflection period, you can ask the court to proceed with the divorce. The legal statement confirming the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage made at the application stage counts as conclusive evidence and cannot be contested, either by the court or a spouse. The court will issue a Certificate of Entitlement to confirm the date of your Conditional Order, and this typically takes a few weeks.
5. The Court Grants the Conditional Order
At this point, the court has granted the divorce and there is a further mandatory six weeks ‘cooling-off period’ before you are able to apply for the Final Order. The cooling off period is intended for amicable couples to submit their financial order (consent order) to the court for approval.
6. Application for Financial Consent Order
Couples who have had a solicitor draft them a financial order can now apply to the court for its approval. If you submit the financial order at this time it is usually granted alongside your Final Order.
7. Application For Final Order (previously called Decree Absolute)
Apply to the court for your Final Order to legally end your marriage.
8. The Court Grants the Final Order
The divorce Final Order will usually be granted within 24 hours.
A no-fault divorce in England and Wales will take approximately 6 to 7 months from Application to Final Order in most straightforward cases where all forms are promptly signed and returned.
Is this the case for most applicants? Not necessarily – Government figures show the average time for a divorce to complete in 2023 is roughly 42 weeks (10 months).
Is online divorce safe and legal in the UK?
We regularly get asked this question, to which the answer is of course, yes.
We have been providing UK couples with a safe and legal uncontested divorce solution as an alternative to using traditional high-street solicitors since 1999!
Now, under the new no-fault divorce law, the ability for a spouse to contest a divorce is removed, so the majority of divorce cases in England and Wales will have the agreement of both parties. Therefore, you can feel comfortable using an online divorce service without hiring expensive solicitors.
When deciding how to proceed with a divorce, the cost is always one of the main factors, alongside how quickly the divorce can be obtained with minimum stress, which is just where Divorce-Online specialises.
If you are still unsure whether an online divorce is right for you please read through our reviews on Trustpilot.
Is the Online Divorce Process Different From a High Street Solicitor?
No, the divorce process does not change and the same exact procedure needs to be followed regardless of whether you do it yourself, do it online, or use a traditional high-street solicitor.
An online divorce simplifies the process of getting a divorce by removing the need to visit offices to complete paperwork. This can now be done easily by uploading documents, and using phone, email, Skype, WhatsApp and live chat.
There are several benefits to getting a divorce online, but the legal procedure is not one of them.
Here are the steps you will need to follow to end your marriage with Divorce-Online: –
1) Pay the service fee
Applying online requires you to make a secure payment for your desired service. This can be done either online or via the phone on 01793 384 029
2) User accesses an online account
You will be provided with login details to our online divorce system, which enables you to complete your divorce documents and track your divorce.
3) User completes a set of questions
These questions will be basic personal and marriage details, which will then enable us to start drafting your divorce papers for you.
4) Divorce documents are drafted
Your dedicated personal case manager will draft your divorce papers from the information you have provided us with to ensure they are correct.
5) Case manager edits and checks documents
Your case manager will check your divorce petition to ensure it’s correct and make any necessary edits before they are sent out to you.
6) User is sent divorce papers to sign
Your completed divorce documents will be posted to you for signature. Once you’ve signed the papers, you will need to return them back to us.
7) Case manager progresses with your application
Your divorce petition will be sent into court and divorce proceedings will be initiated. Your case manager will then process all other applications until you receive your decree absolute.
8) User tracks divorce process online
Log in to your online case area and track the progress of your divorce case from start-to-finish. This feature is excellent for busy people and those that aren’t confident in completing the divorce process themselves.
Is My Situation Suitable for a Divorce Online?
Applying for a divorce online isn’t the right method for every couple. Especially those with a high net worth or substantial assets such as overseas property portfolios for example.
However, for most couples, getting a divorce online is the most straightforward, efficient, and affordable option available.
Couples seeking a quick divorce are often attracted to our services, due to the straightforward nature of how it works compared with visiting local solicitor’s offices.
Here are the requirements to get a divorce online;
- You have been married for at least 12 months
- You live in England or Wales (Or if you live abroad, you see the UK as your permanent home)
It’s not always possible to achieve an amicable divorce, which makes it easier to get a divorce online. However, if your relationship with your ex is amicable, then you don’t need to spend thousands on solicitors, which can in some cases worsen the relationship.
If you’re unsure about the costs of divorce, our overview of your options is a good place to start as we cover how much a divorce costs in the UK.
I Need a Financial Order, Can I Still Get a Divorce Online?
The short answer is yes. You can get a divorce online to end your marriage and apply for a consent order to run alongside your divorce proceedings.
Documenting your financial agreement by applying to the court to grant you a financial order requires the assistance of a solicitor.
The drafting of the consent order must include specific legal clauses in line with the UK divorce law, which means doing it yourself or finding a free template will not be granted by a judge.
This doesn’t mean that you need to instruct local solicitors about this. Our family law solicitors can help you do this alongside your divorce online application.
Main Benefits of Getting a Divorce Online vs Traditional Solicitors
There are so many benefits to doing your divorce online over the traditional method of hiring solicitors to handle your divorce.
Find some of the most common reasons why more people are choosing an online divorce service vs using a high-street solicitor.
✅ All services are fixed fee
With an online divorce, there are no hourly or hidden costs because each service is a fixed fee.
Our fixed-fee services start from just £199 and provide a way for people to obtain a low-cost divorce when both parties are in agreement.
✅ No visiting offices or taking time off work
Everything from applying for divorce to completing the divorce papers is done online, email or phone.
There’s no need to visit offices to complete paperwork that can very easily be done online in minutes.
✅ Online divorce services are much quicker
High-street divorce solicitors aren’t known for their speed. That’s where online divorce is different, it’s all about making the divorce process as quick as possible to reduce the stress and acrimony.
We typically finalise divorce cases in 10-12 weeks quicker than most high-street solicitors do.
✅ Online divorce is much cheaper
A divorce using a solicitor will likely cost you over £1,000 + VAT. For an agreed divorce this is quite unnecessary.
Our clients each typically save over £750 when compared to quotes they received from local divorce solicitors.
✅ You can track progress online
We’re the only online divorce provider that enables you to track the entire divorce procedure online.
For those attempting a DIY divorce, you’ll have to wait on hold to the court for updates, which causes more stress.
✅ Online divorce has better customer service
You have direct contact information for your dedicated case manager.
There’s no passing you around or waiting to receive the information you need.
We know how annoying it can be when dealing with customer services that put you on hold and then pass you between departments, which is why we never do that!
Please Contact Us If You Require Assistance
Many people ask our family law experts how to file for divorce in the UK. If you’d like to find out how we can save you time, stress and money with our online divorce services, please call us for a free consultation on 01793 384 029 or email us today
Between the hours of 9am-5pm Monday-Friday we also have live chat operating where a qualified divorce expert will be more than happy to assist you with any questions or queries you have.
Find The Most Suitable Divorce Service
Use our simple qualification tool to see which service is the most suitable for you. Answer a few simple questions to be matched with the perfect service. We can help you divorce from just £199 including VAT.