No Fault Divorce

After several delays the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 is now due to be implemented on the 6th April 2022.   This will introduce a no-fault divorce.    Please see the following changes which will take effect from the 6th April 2022.  

At the moment when applying for divorce there is a requirement to establish one of five facts to prove that a marriage has irretrievably broken down.  These facts are as follows:-

1.         Adultery

2.         Behaviour

3.         2 years separation with consent

4.         2 years desertion

5.         5 years separation

The new law that is to be introduced will allow parties to divorce without using one of the above facts.   This therefore removes the blame element from a divorce application.    Moving forward from April 2022 a divorcing couple will be able to provide a joint statement to the Court setting out their reasons as to why the marriage has irretrievably broken down.   A statement will need to be provided by both of the parties to the divorce application confirming their agreement to the same which they will both need to sign and date.  

It may also be possible to submit a sole application.  Either a sole applicant or both applicants together can apply to dissolve the marriage providing a statement is provided by the sole or joint applicants stating that the marriage has irretrievably broken down with an explanation.   The Court will make an order provided that the proper application has been issued and a cooling off period has taken place (20 weeks from the start of the divorce proceedings).  This will provide the parties time to reflect on their decision to ensure this is exactly what they want before the divorce is granted.  

After the 20 week period has expired, the parties, if a joint application is submitted, will need to provide confirmation to the Court that they wish to apply for Decree Nisi/A Conditional Order. 

This is the same as the previous divorce rules and once an application for a Decree Nisi/Conditional Order has been made a further 6 weeks and 1 day must pass before the Divorce Order (Decree Absolute) is granted.   Once this period has expired, the parties will be able to apply for a Final Divorce Order.  This will mean that Decree Absolute is granted.  Until such time as the Final Divorce Order / Decree Absolute is granted then the parties will remain married.  

Based on the above timescale, we envisage that it will take at least 6 months to complete a no fault divorce process.  This is similar to the current timeframe.  

If you are waiting for the change of legislation then of course you are able to instruct solicitors at any time to ensure that the application is ready in anticipation of the same.  If you do require any assistance in relation to this please contact our family team on:-

Tel – 01942 206060

email –

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