When will no-fault divorce be introduced?


The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 will bring the  ‘no-fault’ divorce in to UK law and will change the current process for applying for a divorce. The new law is expected to come into force in April 2022.

The current law means that one party has to be held responsible for the breakdown of the marriage or the parties will have to wait a minimum of two years before they can start the divorce process.

This new law will allow couples to petition jointly without either person being held at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. The petitioning party (either on their own or jointly) will simply need to confirm to the Court in a Statement that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

This change has come after years of campaigning by Resolution and other organisations to try and push legislative change in this area.

Some of the new changes to the law are as follows:-

– Removing the requirement to rely on one of the ‘facts’, i.e adultery, unreasonable behaviour.

– Change to some of the language, including the ‘Petitioner’ becoming the ‘Applicant’ and ‘Decree Nisi’ and ‘Decree Absolute’ becoming ‘Conditional Order’ and ‘Final Order’.

– Couples will be allowed to make joint applications if it is agreed the relationship has irretrievably broken down.

– A divorce can no longer be contested.

– A new minimum 20 week period will be introduced from the start of proceedings to when the Conditional Order can be made.

The new changes will mean that parties will not have to play the ‘blame game’ in order to formally end their marriage. It will allow parties to stay on amicable terms and make a joint application if they want to. It is hoped that this in turn will make it easier for couples to resolve any children or financial matters constructively.

If you would like advice on divorce and finances, please contact Danielle on 01243 790 532 or emaildaniellechandler@owenkenny.co.uk

This blog is for information purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.