No fault divorce – 6 April 2022
From the 6th of April 2022 there will be a significant change in the law regarding divorce in England and Wales.
Under current legislation when filing for a divorce in England and Wales an individual is able to make an application if they believe their marriage has irretrievability broken down beyond repair for one of the following reasons:
· Behaviour of a spouse that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with
· Desertion for a continuous period of at least 2 years
· 2 year separation with consent
· 5 year separation without consent
Whereas the new legislation that comes into force on 6th April 2022 removes the requirement for blame on either spouse in an application for divorce. Instead, a statement is required confirming the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage, and the possibility of one spouse contesting the divorce is no longer possible. Furthermore, it is possible for both parties to make a joint application for divorce so that they do not have to petition against each other. However, parties continue to be barred from making an application for divorce during the first year of marriage
Under the new legislation a Decree Nisi will be referred to as a Conditional Order and a Decree Absolute is referred to as a Final Order.
Applicants must wait at least 20 weeks from the initial application for divorce before applying to the court for the Conditional Order, this is required to allow a period of reflection for the parties so that they are confident that divorce is the right decision. Parties will then have to wait an additional 6 weeks after the Conditional Order is made to apply for a Final Order to finalise the divorce.
The Law Society has stated “We support legislation to introduce no-fault divorce. No-fault divorce will reduce conflict, allowing couples to focus on important issues like children, property and finances.”
If you would like any advice regarding divorce or matrimonial affairs, please do not hesitate to contact our Family Solicitor Frances Bedbrook-Kelly on 01992 422128. Frances would be happy to assist you.