Divorce Solicitor, Carol Toulson and trainee, Jade Mercer, discuss the impact of the recent decision to amend divorce laws to allow the process to be completed as a no fault divorce.
The government have announced that the no fault divorce will come into force on 6th April 2022. The much-awaited change will allow parties to divorce without the need to assign blame to the other party. Although parties can divorce without blame at the moment, they have to be separated for two years and need the consent of the other party.
Current divorce law dates back to 1973 and is in much need of reform to bring the law up-to-date and in line with current times. The new legislation will dismiss the need to prove one of five facts which include:
The new no fault divorce will comprise a new requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown. The statement will be used as conclusive evidence that the marriage has broken down and the court must make an order to dissolve the marriage.
The new legislation also introduces the option for a joint application, although one party will still be able to apply without the consent of the other.
There is a minimum period of 20 weeks from the start of the divorce to the final Decree Absolute. There will continue to be a statutory delay of 6 weeks from pronouncement of the Decree Nisi to the making of the Decree Absolute which finalises the divorce.
The no fault divorce was due to come into force in Autumn 2021, however, the timetable has been pushed back to allow time for HMCTS’s online divorce systems to be amended. The reform is much needed and a specified date for when the law will come into force is good news for couples who wish to have an amicable divorce and do not want to wait to have been separated for two years.
The family solicitors at Holmes & Hills are long standing advocates of dealing with all aspects of the divorce amicably. Having an amicable divorce creates less stress for both parties and is in both parties interests especially if there are children involved.
If you require any initial advice about separation or divorce from a specialist family lawyer, please contact Holmes & Hills Solicitors and speak to a member of the family team who will be able to arrange an appointment.