If you cannot agree

You can ask a court to make a ‘financial order’ if you cannot reach an agreement. This used to be called an ‘ancillary relief order’. This means the court will decide how assets will be split.

You must attend a meeting about mediation first - except in certain cases (there’s been domestic abuse, for example).

Deadlines for applying

You can ask the court to make a financial order if both of the following apply:

  • you’ve started the paperwork to divorce or end your civil partnership
  • you have not yet applied for the final legal document to end the relationship

The final legal document is the:

How to apply

You can apply for a financial order to get things like:

Applying costs £255.

You’ll need to send 2 copies of the form to the court dealing with your paperwork to divorce or end your civil partnership. Keep a copy for yourself.

You may have to attend a court appointment and go to a number of court hearings. How long it takes varies, but it could be 6 to 12 months.

  1. Step 1 Get support and advice

    You can get support or counselling to help you through the divorce process.

    1. Get support and advice from Relate
    2. Find a counsellor on Counselling Directory
  2. Step 2 Check if you can get divorced

  3. Step 3 Make arrangements for children, money and property

  4. Step 4 Apply for a divorce

  5. Step 5 Apply for 'decree nisi'

    You need to apply for a 'decree nisi' and give the court more information about why your marriage has broken down.

    1. Apply for a decree nisi
  6. Step 6 Finalise your divorce

    You need to apply for a 'decree absolute' to finalise your divorce. You'll have to wait 6 weeks and 1 day from the date of your decree nisi.

    1. Apply for a decree absolute

    Once the court approves your decree absolute, they'll send you both a copy of it and your divorce will be complete.

  7. Step 7 Report that your circumstances have changed

    You also have to tell other government organisations that you're getting divorced if: