Changes are Imminent to Separation, Divorce & Dissolution Law and Procedure

On 6th April 2022 it will be possible to judicially separate, divorce or dissolve your Civil Partnership without making allegations of fault against your spouse/partner - a so called ‘no fault’ divorce.

Therefore, if you would prefer to issue proceedings under the current procedure - now is the time to act. The Court has announced a cut-off date of 31st March for petitions to be issued so we recommend taking the necessary action sooner rather than later.
Before you make this decision, it's important to consider…

What does a ‘no fault’ mean?

Currently, the court must be satisfied that the marriage or civil partnership has irretrievably been broken down due to one of 5 reasons. The first 3 are fault based, i.e., adultery (not available to same sex couples), unreasonable behaviour or desertion. The final 2 are based on separation of 2 years with consent or 5 years separation.

The new legislation will result in some significant changes, including:

  • Divorces granted without one person blaming the other
  • Couples can apply for the divorce individually or jointly.
  • There will be very limited grounds to challenge or defend divorce proceedings.
  • There will be a minimum of 20 weeks between application and final order (providing an opportunity for couples to reflect and work through differences before committing or to resolve issues over the financial division and arrangements for children).

Being able to say that the relationship has failed rather than holding either person responsible should make it easier for couples to settle the terms of their divorce and reduce the stress, pain and conflict that couples often experience during their separation.

Angela O’Neill is our family Lawyer and Mediator. Her wealth of experience means that she is perfectly placed to provide advice, whatever your situation.

So whether you are looking to proceed without delay on the 6th April or looking to issue divorce proceedings under the current legislation, contact us today on 01229 811811 to arrange an appointment and speak to our experts.

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