From the 6th April 2022 the law will be changing to move to a no-fault divorce procedure. In order to take the heat out of a divorce suit, fault or blame will be removed from the divorce process and couples will be able to divorce solely on the basis that the marriage has broken down.
What are the current rules on divorce?
Currently in England and Wales you can only divorce on one of the following five grounds for divorce:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Two years’ separation with consent
- Five years’ separation without consent
What is changing?
The arrival of no-fault divorce means that if the couple agrees to a divorce and it is uncontested, there will not be a requirement for one person to blame the other for the breakdown of the marriage.
Another change will be that both parties will be able to make the application jointly.
What happens if we change our mind?
There will be implemented a minimum timeframe of 20 weeks which is designed to counter concerns that the reforms will make divorce a quicker and easier option than trying to save the marriage. This is called the period of reflection. It will give couples an opportunity to reflect and, if viable, work through their differences before committing to a divorce.
Under the new law, it will not be possible to contest the divorce. This system has evolved following high profile cases where thousands of pounds’ worth of legal expenses have been accrued. This is due to things such as the bitterness of the parties and willingness to protract proceedings to delay or frustrate the financial claims.
It has been mooted that there are pros and cons of the no-fault divorce procedure. Some people believe that making the divorce process easier could be damaging the sanctity of marriage. Further, some parties may feel frustrated at not being able to apportion blame to the spouse at the time where they are possibly feeling extremely emotional and hurt.
In essence, it has been acknowledged that current divorce laws are out of touch with modern life and the need for blame needs to be removed.
How we can help
TSP have a dedicated Family and Divorce team that are here to support you. We appreciate how stressful the divorce process can be which is why we offer new clients a 45 minute fixed fee appointment with one of our divorce Lawyers for £150 + VAT – no surprises just understanding and support. Appointments are available in the office or remotely by telephone or video call.