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Home » Advice Centre » No Fault Divorce Update

No Fault Divorce Update

Posted on: 10 January 2022 by Goodwins Family Law Solicitors

No fault divorce, the eagerly anticipated change to divorce law, has been postponed until April 2022. After receiving royal assent on 25th June 2020, the bill was scheduled to come into law sometime in 2021. However, for various reasons, the new date is now set to April of the following year.

In this article, we take a look at the reasons for this postponement as well as what it means for you if you were intending on getting a divorce sooner rather than later.

no fault divorce updates

What is a no fault divorce?

No fault divorce is the term used for a change in divorce law that allows couples to divorce without the need to place blame on either party. Whereas the current law demands a reason be given for the breakdown of the marriage, no fault divorces will enable couples to divorce solely on the basis the marriage has irretrievably broken down. 

To learn more about no fault divorces, take a look at our no fault divorce page.

Why has no fault divorce been postponed?

Despite the no fault divorce bill receiving Royal Assent in 2020, further changes are required to other rules and platforms to ensure that everything is consistent.

The Ministry of Justice is working with the Family Procedure Rule Committee to identify the significant changes needed to the Family Procedure Rules 2010, SI 2010/2955 and supporting practice directions, as well as adding some new procedures.

Changes will also need to be made to the HMCTS online divorce platform. 

These may seem like trivial administrative tasks but are extremely important for ensuring that no fault divorces can be carried out as seamlessly as possible.

What will change on the 6th April 2022

If all goes ahead as planned, the 6th April 2022 will mean the following changes for divorce:

  • Divorcing couples will not need to state a reason for their divorce beyond irretrievable breakdown
  • Joint applications will become possible
  • Parties will no longer be able to contest a divorce, dissolution or separation
  • Terms will be updated for clarity. ‘Decree Nisi’ will change to ‘Conditional Order’, ‘Decree Absolute’ will change to ‘Final Order’ and ‘Petitioner’ will change to ‘Applicant’.
  • There will be a new minimum period of 20 weeks from the start of proceedings to the conditional order. This is to provide a period of reflection to ensure that the couples do truly wish to separate.

What if I want a divorce now?

We understand that the postponement may be frustrating for many of you. If you had intentions to get divorced, we’d still recommend going through the divorce process now instead of waiting for no fault divorces to come into law. Though no fault divorces aim to remove animosity from the divorce process, there is no need for the regular divorce process to become protracted or hostile if you and your spouse strive for an amicable resolution. 

A great way to ensure the process is as seamless as possible is to employ the help of an expert divorce lawyer. The team at Goodwins Family Law is  committed to helping you reach a favourable outcome while protecting the wellbeing of everyone involved. Goodwins has specialists across all areas of divorce law, meaning we can help you whether you’re looking for a high net worth divorce, international divorce or civil partnership dissolution. With over 25 years’ experience and a high client-satisfaction rate, you can trust Goodwins to guide you through your divorce and into the next stage of your life.

Contact our team today to find out how we can help you.

Goodwins Family Law Solicitors is a registered company in England. © Goodwins Family Law Solicitors 2022. All Rights Reserved.

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