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No fault divorce is on its way…

The Government has announced that the long awaited changes to the Divorce law will be implemented from 6th April 2022 although until then the existing law will remain with us.

It has been a long running campaign for the introduction of “no fault divorce” and will mean lots of changes, not least with the terminology.

Under the current law the marriage has to have irretrievably broken down (no change there) and one of the spouses has to blame the other (here are the big changes) whether because of their behaviour or adultery or there has to be a period of separation of either two or five years and if a two year separation there is an additional hurdle that the other spouse has to consent to the divorce.  The new system also removes the ability for one of the spouses to contest a divorce.

The new law will simply be that the divorce is requested because the marriage has irretrievably broken down without having to show wrongdoing by the other or a period living apart.  There can even be a joint application for the Divorce Order.

But it’s not all rosy government plans for the future – there are currently consultations taking place to increase court fees.

The terminology will also be changing –

  • A Petition becomes an application for divorce.
  • A Petitioner becomes an Applicant.
  • The Decree Nisi becomes A Conditional Order.
  • The Decree Absolute becomes a Final Order.

The Divorce will take at least six months and there remains a bar on a divorce within a year of the marriage.

The changes will hopefully go a long way to reduce the antagonism between partners.

But simplifying the divorce does not of itself stop all problems as there can still be issues over children and/or finances and it remains the case that a divorce has to be pending before a Judge can be asked to solve a financial dispute and for a financial settlement to be approved by the court, the Conditional Order has to have been pronounced.

Rubin Lewis O’Brien can assist with the paperwork to end the marriage and solve problems in the relationship generally – whether children or finances.  Contact Valerie Henley for a chat Valerie.Henley@rlo.law or call 01633 876000.

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