On the 6th April 2022 there was a significant change to the procedure for divorce in England and Wales.
The changes came after years of campaigning and saw the biggest shake up of divorce laws for 50 years.
The changes mean that it is no longer necessary to apportion blame so married and civil partnership couples can obtain a divorce without giving a specific reason for the breakdown of their marriage.
The “No Fault” divorce legislation was designed with the underlying intention of removing unnecessary conflict between couples mainly to avoid the lasting effects this can have on children.
As the then Deputy Prime Minister Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab said:-
“The breakdown of a marriage can be agonising for all involved especially children. We want to reduce the acrimony couples endure and end the anguish that children suffer.
That is why we are allowing couples to apply for divorce without having to prove fault ending the blame game where a marriage has broken down irretrievably and enabling couples to move on with their lives without the bitter wrangling of an adversarial divorce process”.
Specifically, the measures from the Divorce Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 includes:-
Replacing the previous requirements to evidence either a conduct or separation “fact” with the provision of a statement of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage (for the first-time couples can opt to make this a joint statement).
Removing the possibility of disputing the decision to divorce as a statement will be conclusive evidence that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, except on limited technical grounds.
Introducing a new minimum period of 20 weeks from the start of proceedings to a conditional order of divorce being made, allowing greater opportunity for couples to agree practical arrangements for the future where reconciliation is not possible and to divorce is inevitable.
Simplifying the language of divorce to make it more understandable. This includes replacing the terms “Decree Nisi” “Decree Absolute” and “Petitioner” with “Conditional Order” “Final Order” and “Applicant”.
Knowing where to start when going through a divorce can be overwhelming. Here at Seatons we are here to provide a sympathetic and tailored service and can offer advice on all areas of the “No Fault” divorce system including issues relating to property and finance and children.
We have fixed price options available which include a one-hour initial consultation for £250 plus VAT.