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‘No Fault’ Divorce – an update

A photo of Nicola Starbuck
7th October 2022

Quite often there is an element of ‘fault’ when a marriage breaks down but for some couples the relationship naturally comes to an end and they simply drift apart.

Divorce laws were changed in England and Wales from 6 April 2022. The new law was designed to minimise hostilities between partners when separating. Rather than assign blame, a divorce can now proceed based on the ‘irretrievable breakdown’ of the marriage. In order to encourage co-operation, and in stark contrast to the previous law, it is now possible for a separating couple to make a joint application.

Other significant changes to the law include; it is no longer possible to defend a divorce (save in limited circumstances) and the introduction of a minimum of 20 weeks between the start of the case and the application for the Conditional Order being made. This pause in the proceedings provides separating couples with an opportunity to reconsider and change their minds or allows time to deal with the other aspects of their separation: finances and children.

*Between 6 April and June 2022, 33,234 divorce applications have been made under the new ‘no fault’ rules. Of those, only 22% or 7,311 were joint applications. There are likely to be many reasons for the surprisingly limited number of joint applications and only time will tell if the new divorce laws have achieved their intended objective.

Marriage breakdown is always a difficult time, whatever the reason for the relationship coming to an end and here at Thomas Flavell & Sons we understand that. Our expert family team are here to guide and advise you. Arrange your no-obligation fixed fee consultation today.

01455 610747 for Leicestershire

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We have offices in Hinckley, Stoney Stanton and Leamington Spa. You can find details of our offices here.

*MOJ – Family Court Statistics Quarterly: April-June 2022