Can a Divorce be Amicable?

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Going through a divorce can be a very emotionally challenging time for both parties involved. The breakdown of a relationship may not only affect the spouses, but also their children and family too. There are many factors to consider when going through a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership. This includes the division of assets, finances and child custody and maintenance agreements. 

Expert Family Law has access to an experienced panel of divorce lawyers who are able to assist divorcing couples throughout the entire process.

They ensure parties receive the most appropriate legal advice for their unique situation. If you would like to find out more about how a family law solicitor on our panel can assist you, please get in touch with us today. 

Can a divorce be amicable?

A divorce can be amicable in certain circumstances. An amicable separation or divorce refers to a situation where a married couple decides to end their marriage in a peaceful and cooperative manner, without significant conflict or hostility.

In an amicable divorce, the spouses work together to reach agreements on issues, without resorting to litigation or adversarial legal battles.

Key characteristics of an amicable divorce may include:

Open communication: 

Open communication is often the starting point for an amicable divorce. Both spouses are willing to communicate openly and honestly with each other to discuss their needs, concerns, and priorities.


Spouses are willing to collaborate and compromise to find mutually acceptable solutions to issues related to the divorce. These may include as money and property division and child custody arrangements.


There is mutual respect between the spouses, even though they are ending their marriage. They may acknowledge each other’s contributions during the marriage and aim to part ways with dignity.

Minimal conflict: 

Unlike contentious divorces, where disputes often escalate, an amicable divorce typically involves minimal conflict and avoids unnecessary confrontation or hostility.

Focus on the future: 

Rather than dwelling on past grievances, spouses in an amicable divorce focus on planning for their future lives separately, as well as co-parenting effectively if they have children together.

While an amicable divorce may not be possible in every situation, it can offer numerous benefits. These may include reduced emotional stress, lower legal costs, and a smoother transition to post-divorce life for both spouses and any children involved.

Many divorcing couples choose mediation or collaborative divorce processes to facilitate an amicable divorce. This is often done with the assistance of trained professionals such as mediators or collaborative lawyers.

The process of an amicable divorce

If a couple agrees to separate amicably, the divorce and court process can be relatively straightforward and less contentious.

Agreement on Terms

Mutual agreement:

Both parties should communicate with their spouse. They should discuss and agree on the terms of their separation. This includes the division of assets, child custody arrangements, and any spousal support.

Filing for Divorce

Joint application:

Either one spouse files a divorce application or both can file a joint application.

Grounds for divorce:

Under the no-fault divorce system, parties simply need to state that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

Submitting the Application

Divorce application:

The application is submitted online or to the nearest family court. There is a fee for filing.

Acknowledgment of Service

Service of papers:

If a sole application is made, the respondent must acknowledge receipt of the divorce papers. This is done by returning the Acknowledgment of Service form within 14 days.

Reflection Period

20-week cooling-off period:

There is a mandatory 20-week period from the date the application is issued to allow for reflection and, if possible, reconciliation.

Applying for Conditional Order

Conditional Order application:

After the 20-week period, the applicant(s) can apply for a conditional order (formerly decree nisi).

This confirms that the court sees no reason why the divorce cannot proceed.

Court Review

Court approval:

A judge reviews the application and, if satisfied, grants the conditional order.

Final Order

6-week waiting period:

After the conditional order is granted, there is a mandatory six-week waiting period before applying for the final order (formerly decree absolute).

Final Order application:

The final order is applied for, which officially ends the marriage.

Financial Settlements

Consent Order:

If there are financial agreements, the couple can submit a consent order to the court for approval. This makes the financial agreement legally binding.


How much does an amicable divorce cost?

The cost of an amicable divorce can vary depending on a few factors. However, it’s generally much cheaper than a contested divorce that goes to court. 

There’s a mandatory government fee to file for divorce, currently £593. For an amicable divorce, solicitor fees are typically lower because there is less back-and-forth negotiation. Some solicitors also offer fixed-fee options for uncontested divorces.

If you use mediation or collaborative law to reach agreements, there will be additional fees. These can vary depending on the experience of the mediator or lawyers involved. However, fees typically start from £220 per hour.

How can Expert Family Law assist?

If you and your significant other are thinking about ending your marriage, our divorce solicitors will provide you with compassionate support during this trying period.

Please note that we are not a firm of solicitors. We have a panel of family law firms who we may pass your case on for a fee. Expert Family Law will not charge you, the client, for our service of passing on your case.

We ensure that the law firms on our panel have the skills and experience required to assist with your legal case.

Get in touch today to find out if a divorce solicitor from our panel could help on your case.


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