The New ‘No Fault’ Divorce
What Is The New ‘No Fault’ Divorce And What Do You Need To Know About It? The no-fault divorce is considered to be the biggest change to divorce law in England and Wales in over 50 years. We explain what this will mean for divorcing couples.
For some time, many legal professionals have felt that the existing divorce laws are out of touch with modern life and have sought change to the fault-based system which is often considered to add tension and acrimony onto divorcing couples.
Under the existing divorce laws you can only obtain a divorce from your spouse by alleging fault on your spouse by citing either their adultery, unreasonable behaviour or desertion. If you are unable to cite one of these faults, you can only get divorced if you have been separated for at least two years if both spouses agree to the divorce, or five years if your spouse refuses. However, these laws are now changed.
The ‘No Fault’ Divorce Came Into Effect on 6 April 2022
June 2020 saw the passing of The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act to bring about change to the current divorce laws. The Act was came into effect on 6th April 2022. This legislation reforms the divorce process to remove the existing concept of fault. It is hoped that this will reduce animosity between divorcing couples and allow the parties to separate more amicably and deal with their financial and children matters in a more constructive manner.
What Are The Key Features Of ‘No Fault’ Divorce?
- Couples will be able to get divorced solely on the basis that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, without citing blame on their spouse.
- The new divorce system will also give couples an option to apply for a divorce jointly with their spouse, which is not currently possible.
- The opportunity to contest the divorce will be removed.
- The archaic language currently used will also change so that the Decree Nisi will become a Conditional Order and the Decree Absolute will become a Final Order.
- There will be a period of reflection of a minimum of 20 weeks from when the application for divorce is made to when a Conditional Order can be made. This is in order to provide the parties a period of reflection to consider their decision.
These changes will also apply to the dissolution of civil partnerships.
How Long Will It Take To Divorce Under The New Law?
The new divorce process is therefore expected to be less acrimonious for couples. However, although the process will be online, the process is expected to take around 6 ½ months.
It is worth seeking tailored legal advice about whether applying for a divorce now or waiting for the no-fault divorce would be in your best interest.
At Breakthrough Family Law we have an excellent track record of success in obtaining substantial financial settlements on divorce for our clients. If you are going through a divorce and you would like to speak to an expert family law solicitor about a divorce financial settlement contact us.
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