“NO FAULT” DIVORCE TO BECOME LAW ON 6 APRIL 2022
If you are seeking a no-fault divorce and have not been separated for two years or more at present you still have to wait, until 6 April 2022, even though legislation removing fault from the divorce process was passed in June 2020.
Under the new legislation, couples can divorce without having to cite blame. They will no longer need to rely on one of the 5 facts (behaviour, adultery, 5 years separation, 2 years separation with consent, desertion).
The application cannot be contested
As the element of fault will be removed, the divorce application cannot be contested. It is hoped that by removing the blame game, couples will be able to pursue an amicable and cost-effective divorce, without the fear of their application being contested.
Option for a joint application
Currently, only one spouse can apply for the divorce. The new system will allow both parties to apply on a joint and amicable basis.
Changes will be made to the language used. For example, currently the first stage of the divorce is known as “Decree Nisi”. This will be changed to “ Conditional Order”. The final stage of the divorce is currently referred to as “Decree Absolute”. This will be referred to as “Final Order”.
For any enquiry about this or any other aspect of the divorce procedure I can provide expert advice. To contact me please submit the enquiry form, email or call on 01934 853355.
I can explain your options in the meantime if the aim is to proceed with the divorce before the implementation of the no-fault divorce legislation. I can provide relevant legal advice and explain the options open to you. If you want to know about this.
Even with the existing old based divorce regime, the process of getting a divorce in England and Wales is quite simple, prior to the online government divorce service you could obtain the divorce forms from the local family court and complete them yourself. It is with regard to agreeing a financial settlement, dividing property and matters involving children that matters can become more tricky. It is important that you have advice at the outset. Before discussing this with your husband or wife so that you know what the options are and the likely outcomes could be.
At present, the law in England and Wales, that has been in place for many years, is that not until a couple have been married for a year are they entitled to obtain a divorce.
As mentioned, although in April 2021 it will be is possible to have a “no fault” divorce, unfortunately, in England, this is not an option yet.
At present, until next year, there is one ground for divorce – the 'irretrievable breakdown' of the marriage. To show that, it is necessary to establish one of five facts:
· Adultery – the other party has committed adultery and the person starting the divorce finds it intolerable to live with him/her
· Unreasonable behaviour – the other party has behaved in such a way that the person starting the divorce cannot reasonably be expected to live with them
· Two years’ separation and consent – the parties have been living apart for at least two years and they agree to a divorce
· Five years’ separation – the parties have been living apart for at least five years
· Desertion – the other party has deserted the person starting the divorce for a continuous period of at least two years (for technical reasons this is virtually never used).