No fault divorce

28th March 2022 2:41 pm Comments Off on No fault divorce

In a matter of a few weeks, separating couples will be able to get a divorce, legal partnership or civil partnership dissolution without having to blame one another for the breakdown of their relationship. The government originally planned to introduce no-fault divorce in the August of 2021 but admitted in June 2021, that their original target was too ambitious. The introduction of no-fault divorce has therefore been pushed back to April 2022.

From 6th April 2022, the new law on no-fault divorce in the UK will bring long-awaited reforms to an area of law that has not changed since 1973. Under current legislation, parties can only apply for a divorce if they prove to the Court that their marriage has irretrievably broken down and this must be evidenced by one of five facts:

  1. Adultery
  2. Unreasonable Behaviour
  3. Desertion
  4. 2 years separation with consent
  5. 5 years separation

The new no-fault divorce will work by replacing the ‘five facts’ with a new requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown and as the element of fault will be removed, the application cannot be contested, unless on the grounds of the validity of the marriage.

Applicants will still be able to submit a sole application if their partner does not agree, however parties can now amicably file an application together. As it currently stands, once the Acknowledgment of Service has been filed, the Court currently grants what is known as a Decree Nisi. This will be changed on 6th April to a Conditional Order and can only be applied for once 20 weeks have passed. This final stage of the divorce, which is currently known as Decree Absolute, will now be known as the Final Order.

John Randle, Chambers & Partners ranked lawyer at Colemans solicitors said: ‘the changes to the divorce laws  are very welcome indeed, after a very long wait and much campaigning by family lawyers up and down the country. One note of caution however is that clients should always seek legal advice and obtain financial remedy orders before they become finally divorced, as otherwise they may lose valuable financial benefits.

It is still not clear how costs will be treated once the new no-fault divorce comes into force, however, we would assume that in most cases, due the amicable nature of the no-fault divorce that costs can be agreed.

We have had a couple of calls recently enquiring whether they should wait for the no-fault divorce to begin, however we would suggest that there is a lot to consider prior to filing an application with the Court and we would recommend that you obtain legal advice as soon as possible.

If you would like more information about our specialist divorce service, or to book an initial 1 hour consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 01628 631051 or by emailing john.randle@colemans.co.uk


Categorised in: Family Law

This post was written by Colemans Solicitors LLP

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