I have a conditional order – what must I do next?
How can I get information or advice?
For free legal information, help and advice contact Community Legal Service Direct on 0845 345 4 345 or at www.clsdirect.org.uk You can also seek help from a Citizens Advice Bureau or Consumer Advice Centre.
What will happen when the Judge has pronounced my conditional order?
The court will send you and the respondent form D529 (conditional order).
There is a different version of the conditional order for each of the four grounds for dissolution.
You will see that the form D529 tells you that this is not the final order. It also tells you when you can apply for your final order.
What must I do before I apply for my final order?
If there are children of the family, check that the court has sent you a form D584B which says the judge has decided that the final order need not be held up on account of the children.
You cannot have your conditional order made final if the court sent you form D566.
See leaflet D195 - Children and dissolution.
If there are:
• no children of the family; or
• the court has sent you form D584B;
then check that six weeks have passed since your conditional order was made.
The first date you can apply for your final order is six weeks and one day from the date your conditional order was made.
If you are the respondent and the petitioner has not already applied for the final dissolution order you are able to apply for the final dissolution order three months, six weeks and one day from the date your conditional order was pronounced.
If the application for the conditional order to be made final is lodged more than 12 months after the conditional order, an explanation in writing must be lodged with the application for the conditional order to be made final containing the following information:
a) reasons for the delay
b) a statement as to whether the parties have lived together (including any dates) since the conditional order
c) a statement as to whether any child has been born to either civil partner and if they are to be considered a child of the family.
You should check with the court dealing with the dissolution to find out if you will also need to file an affidavit.
How much will it cost?
You may have to pay a court fee. Please ask the court staff for a copy of the leaflet EX50 - County Court Fees. This lists the most common family fees. It is also available on the website www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk
How can I pay the fee?
By cash, postal order or cheque. Make your cheque or postal order payable to Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS). Please note that courts cannot accept payments by debit or credit cards.
Does the fee always have to be paid?
No. Your financial situation may mean you do not have to pay a fee. The combined booklet and application form EX160A - Court Fees - do I have to pay them? provides further information on this.
Court staff can provide you with a copy of the EX160A. It is also available on our website at www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk You will have to make a separate application for each fee that you would otherwise have to pay.
Do I need a form to make my conditional order final?
Yes. You can get form D36 (notice of application for decree nisi to be made absolute or conditional order to be made final) from the court office.
Fill it in and take or send it to the court office.
What will the court do with form D36?
From your file the court will check the following.
• If there are children:
• the court is satisfied with the arrangements proposed for them; or
• that even if the court is not satisfied, there are no exceptional circumstances affecting the final order;
• six weeks have passed since your conditional order was made;
• there is no other reason why your conditional order cannot be made final.
If everything is in order the court will send you and the respondent a form D537 (final order).
Form D537 is your final order. You are now free to enter into a new civil partnership or to marry if you wish.
Note: If there is a co-respondent to your petition, the information in this leaflet about respondents also applies to the co-respondent.