No fault divorce – April 2022

The long-awaited no-fault divorce process is due to come into effect on 6 April 2022.

This will remove the unnecessary acrimony that is associated with lodging divorce papers with the court using the current fault-based system.

Currently, the only way to obtain a divorce is by saying your spouse has committed adultery or has been unreasonable by listing examples of unreasonable behaviour. The other grounds are based on periods of separation or desertion. For many years now family lawyers have been campaigning for this fault-based system to be replaced with something that removes the need to blame the other person in some way before a divorce can be granted by the court.

Statistically, adultery and unreasonable behaviour are the most common grounds for divorce in the UK because a divorce petition must have been filed with the court and reached a certain stage before a court can approve any financial agreement. People don’t often rely on the available grounds of separation because you have to have been separated for those periods of time before a petition can be filed with the court which means a court can validate any financial agreement until that period of time has elapsed. The periods of separation are 2 years if both parties’ consent to a divorce based on that ground or 5 years if one party won’t provide their consent.

None of this will apply after 6 April 2022. We are still waiting to see exactly what the new divorce petitions will look like. At present the IT packages to run the new divorce process using the online system are still being finalised. As soon as more information is provided, we will provide updates via our Blog pages on this website.

It is important to realise that this new system only changes the paperwork that will be needed to obtain a divorce from the court. It will not change how the financial issues that need to be considered upon divorce are sorted out. We are specialists in helping couples sort out their financial arrangements amicably so they can avoid the stress and costs of going to court. We will help you create an agreement that can be set out in a legally binding court order and posted to the court for approval by a Judge so that no one needs to attend court.

If you would like to discuss and understand how a divorce works, the paperwork involved and all of the options for sorting out the financial issues that need to be considered as part of the divorce process, then book one of our Family Law Information Meetings (FLIM) which you can attend either by yourself or with your partner.

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