No-fault Divorce – All you need to know
The rules of no-fault divorce being introduced is imminent. To understand the changes to the law and how it could affect you, read this Jarmans guide to no-fault divorce.
Why did divorce law need reform?
Historically, when divorcing, the person filling out the divorce petition must give one of five reasons to prove marriage breakdown. These options include:
- Unreasonable behaviour.
- Separation for at least 2 years (if the non-petitioning spouse agrees).
- Separation for at least 5 years (whether the non-petitioning spouse agrees or not).
Many have argued that these laws are outdated and unfair since placing blame would often lead to unnecessary conflict and extensive issues throughout the negotiation process when proving the marriage has permanently broken down.
When will no-fault divorce begin in the UK?
On the 6th of April 2022, no-fault divorce will become law in the UK. The law was initially passed in June 2020 after the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill was introduced in the House of Commons a year prior.
What does no-fault divorce mean for separating couples?
No-fault divorce will remove the requirement to provide one of the existing reasons for divorce. It will also mean that couples can now enter the divorce process using a joint petition, meaning the likelihood of conflict arising is reduced since no blame needs to be placed on one partner.
How will no-fault divorce work?
The changes implemented aim to simplify the process and applies to the dissolution of civil partnerships. The changes being implemented are:
- No-fault divorce will replace the existing ‘five-facts’ or ‘options’ as to what grounds a person is filing for a divorce under.
- There will no longer be an option for one party to contest the divorce, ensuring no person is forced to remain in an unhappy marriage.
- An option to file for divorce using a joint application further emphasises the idea that one person should no longer have to be at fault.
- Finally, the jargon used will be updated. ‘Decree nisi’ will be known as conditional order, and ‘decree absolute’ will be known as final order.
Should you wait for no-fault divorce to start?
Knowing whether to wait for the rules of no-fault divorce to be implemented may seem difficult, especially if a person is eager to split from a spouse.
Here are some reasons why you might want to wait for the new law in April 2022:
- The divorce is likely to be more amicable due to the lack of the need to place blame.
- Legal costs could be reduced if there are fewer disputes when discussing financial settlements or child arrangements.
- If one spouse currently objects, it may be best to wait.
There may be other reasons for you wanting to wait to file for divorce, but here are some reasons as to why waiting may not be the best option:
- There could be issues regarding existing financial settlements after the no-fault divorce law is introduced.
- If one spouse has agreed to accept the blame, waiting for the new law may be unnecessary.
- There is already a backlog of divorces due to coronavirus, so waiting longer to file for divorce may mean an extended period before you can remarry or move on – the divorce procedure takes on average around 6 months; by waiting, you could be doubling this.
How can Jarmans Family Law Solicitors help?
Jarmans Solicitors, based in Sittingbourne, Kent, have an experienced, friendly, and knowledgeable family law department on hand to help you with your divorce.
We offer fixed fee consultations and fixed fees for no-fault based divorce with one of our experienced family law team.
Please fill out the form download below before booking your appointment and send it to Angela Devlin firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jarmans will then promptly contact you to organise a phone call.
Click here to learn about more ways we could help you.
Learn more about the changes no-fault divorce will bring here.