Family Law Update – ‘No Fault’ Divorce

Family Law Update – ‘No Fault’ Divorce

‘No Fault’ Divorce

On 6th April there will be a significant change in the divorce law in England and Wales. This is the biggest change for 50 years.

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, which was passed in June 2020, will reform the divorce process to remove the concept of fault.

‘No-fault’ divorce, as it is known, is intended to reduce the conflict between the parties on the reason for divorce, allowing couples to focus on other matters such as children, property and finances.

The new legislation will:

  • Replace the ‘five facts’ with a new requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown
  • Remove the possibility of contesting the divorce
  • Introduce an option for a joint application
  • Make sure language is in plain English, for example, changing ‘decree nisi’ to conditional order and ‘decree absolute’ to final order

These changes will also apply to the dissolution of civil partnerships.

Whilst this is a positive change to reduce the acrimony between the parties, anybody contemplating a divorce or anybody who has received a divorce application should obtain legal advice at the earliest opportunity to ensure that they are not prejudiced in respect of financial and property matters arising from their separation. This is particularly important as there is now no option to defend the divorce application and the applicant of the divorce will be able to proceed to a Final Order (previously Decree Absolute) without notifying the other party.

How can we help?

We are currently offering a free 30 minute consultation for legal advice on divorce, or other family matters. Please contact our Family Team on 01743 248545 or mail@hatchers.co.uk for more information.