When will no-fault divorce be introduced?

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill has received Royal Assent, ending its journey through parliament. The introduction of no-fault divorce to UK law will allow couples to petition jointly without either person being held at fault for the breakdown of the marriage.

This change has come after years of campaigning by Resolution and other organisations to try and push legislative change in this area. The new law is expected to be introduced in Autumn 2021.

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.

Some of the new changes to the law under the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill 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.

We will keep you updated on when these changes are introduced but if you have need any advice in respect of divorce right now please do not hesitate to contact Hannah Rogers at hannahrogers@owenkenny.co.uk or call the office on 01243790532.