No Fault Divorce Is Here At Last

The new legislation for no fault divorce was introduced on 6 April 2022 – it has completely overhauled the law, which had been long overdue. 

No blame

There are always many reasons why people get divorced. The problem that the old law created was that blaming one person for the breakdown of the marriage meant a divorce started negatively, and this could have lasting implications on the way that the rest of the divorce case progressed, and the wider family. The need to lay blame at either person getting divorced is now gone. 

Keeping amicable

Divorces often involve children as well as financial matters, so it’s really important to try and ensure that relations are kept as amicable as possible to avoid costly and antagonistic proceedings. Everyone wants to move forward with their lives once the divorce has started, and the new law will help you do this.

It is now even possible for a couple to start the divorce jointly if they wish. The process and terminology has also been simplified which is also helpful as it will reduce the confusion and stress in a process which is difficult as it is.

The process

Once the divorce starts, a date is given when the minimum allowable period of 20 weeks will occur when it will be possible to apply for a conditional order (previously called a decree nisi).

This is an important stage in the divorce because it means that you are able to ask the court to make a financial order or confirm a financial settlement, which you have agreed.

It is usually preferable not to apply for the divorce to be finalised until all financial matters have been concluded in a court order. It is important to get a clean break order at the end of the divorce case too, so that no claims by your former partner can be made against you in the future.

Whilst it is possible to start your divorce yourself online, it is always a good idea to get legal advice about financial matters concerning your separation.

Written by Jane Charlton,
legal director at Shakespeare Martineau in Milton Keynes