For Individuals

No Fault Divorce

As of the 6th April 2022 the divorce law in England and Wales will change.  Reformers have long campaigned for the change.

What are the changes?

No blame

This is the most important and radical change.  Under the new law couples will be able to get divorced solely on the basis that the marriage has broken down.  Previously to get divorced couples would also need to cite one of five reasons.

The new law removes the need for blame and this is a significant reform in an area where blame has previously been a requirement.

Couples will be able to apply jointly

Previously it has been necessary for one spouse to start the divorce.  Under the new no-fault process a couple can apply jointly.

This is a significant step in ensuring that if a couple agree to separate and divorce then they can both be fully involved in the process as equals rather than one issuing the petition and the other responding to it.

It will no longer be possible to contest the divorce 

Even if a petition is submitted by only one spouse the other spouse cannot contest it as the option to object to a divorce on the basis that you do not believe the marriage has broken down has been removed under the new law.

The process will take a minimum of 26 weeks

A minimum time frame of 20 weeks has been introduced between the commencement of the petition and granting of the conditional order (previously known as decree nisi) and this is deemed to be a period of reflection to give couples an opportunity to be certain as to the step they are taking before committing to a divorce.

There will be a minimum six week period between a conditional order and a final order (previously decree absolute) so 26 weeks from start to finish.

Finances

The no-fault divorce will not automatically end the couples rights financially towards each other.  It is very important to deal with resolving financial claims at the same time as the divorce.  If financial claims are not dealt with on divorce they will remain open and could lead to a claim being made at a later date.

Find out more about no-fault divorce or making a financial claim by contacting kareni@tgbaynes.com