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The end of conflict in divorce – the New Law from 6 April 2022..


The ‘old law’ meant that divorcing couples has to “prove” that their marriage was over by blaming the other spouse.  The only options were to rely upon either adultery, unreasonable behaviour, a period of separation or desertion.  This meant potential conflict from the outset.

It is rarely the case that one Party is solely responsible for the breakdown of the relationship. This is recognised by the Courts in dealing with the division of finances during divorce.  However, the archaic law did not allow Petitions for divorce to start on that basis unless there had been a period of 2 years’ separation and both ‘consented’ to the divorce.

This changed from 6 April 2022.  From this date, the Applicant (or joint applicants if spouses wish to apply together) will simply have to sign a statement that their marriage has broken down.  There is no need to provide a reason.

The reasons could anger or upset the other spouse, and in the worst scenario cause them to feel they have no option but to defend the divorce.  This was costly and litigious from the outset.  Our family lawyers are members of Resolution, which promotes a constructive approach to divorce and separation. Resolution have campaigned for no fault divorce for a long time, and were involved in the Supreme Court in the publicised case of Owens and Owens.

The new process involves either a single or joint application for divorce.  This is followed by a 20 week waiting period before the Court can make a conditional order (an interim divorce order).  There remains the further cooling off period of six weeks and one day before the applicant can then apply for the final divorce order.

Our lawyers fully support the changes, which should enable separating couples to focus upon resolving financial issues arising from the breakdown or their relationship, or resolving any issues relating to their children.  We can help from the outset, from handling the divorce process to advising upon claims arising from the separation, negotiating the best outcome for your particular circumstances and drafting appropriate Orders.  We promote out of court options such as mediation, collaborative divorce and arbitration whenever we can, whilst fully protecting your position throughout.

For further advice or an initial ‘free of charge’ telephone consultation please contact us on: / 0121 704 9876 / 07767 333311

News and Views : The Blame Game Is Over – No Fault Divorce

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