No fault divorce was introduced by the government on 6 April 2022.
Campaigners, including many family lawyers, have long argued for an end to fault-based divorce, arguing that the breakdown of a marriage is generally the result of a number of factors and that to place blame at the door of one of the parties is harmful to families, as it encourages acrimonious separations.
No fault divorce represents the biggest reform of divorce law for 50 years, moving away from the requirement for couples to rely on one of five facts as grounds for divorce – adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, two years’ separation with consent of both parties, or five years’ separation without consent.
No fault divorce makes it possible for couples to instead provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown, which may be applied for solely or via a joint application. The ability to contest a divorce is also now more restricted.
Even the language that we use has changed; Decree Nisi is now known as a ‘conditional order’ and Decree Absolute is a ‘final order’. The ‘petitioner’ has become an ‘applicant’.
No fault divorce simplifies things and reduces the potential for conflict between couples, which can only be a good thing in terms of minimising the negative impact that separation has on children and avoiding the stress of a contested divorce.
For advice about divorce or any aspect of family law, please phone Beswicks’ family team on 01782 205000 or email email@example.com. We offer one-hour fixed fee appointments for £100+vat or a more detailed consultation with a full written report for £250+vat.