No Fault Divorce: The Latest Change to UK Divorce Laws

5 April 2022
From 6th April 2022, No Fault Divorces are set to come into effect in England and Wales. This legislation aims to reform the current divorce process to remove the concept of fault. Are you wondering how this could impact you? Our team discusses the current divorce system, explains what a No Fault Divorce is and lists the benefits of this new process.
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Divorce can often be a stressful and highly emotional process. A large part of this could be because of the current rules surrounding the divorce process. The introduction of No Fault Divorces is set to be a welcome change for many. 

What is the Current Divorce System?

Traditionally, divorce proceedings revolved around blame and fault. Under the current divorce system, couples are required to list issues in their marriage that caused irrevocable damage. One spouse, commonly referred to as the petitioner, must file for divorce and list one or more reasons including adultery, unreasonable behaviour or desertion. The other spouse, the respondent, has the right to respond to this and can contest this. If a reason cannot be proven then the couple must separate and live apart in a ‘separation’ period for a number of years before their marriage can be legally dissolved. 

What is a No Fault Divorce? 

A No Fault Divorce aims to remove the ‘blame game’ that is currently associated with divorce proceedings and encourages couples to focus on separating amicably. Married couples will be able to get a divorce without one person needing to blame the other. The changes will also apply to civil partnership dissolutions. 

Under current laws, one spouse needs to issue divorce proceedings against the other. The new legislation will allow couples to make a joint application for divorce, it also removes the possibility of contesting a divorce. The new process also removes legal jargon that can make applications difficult to understand and instead uses updated terminology in plain English. 

Interested in finding out more? Get in touch with our team. Here at John Fowlers Solicitors, our specialist separation lawyers and divorce lawyers in Colchester, Essex, have years of experience making the divorce and separation process as seamless as possible.