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No Fault Divorce: What Is It? 01 June 2020

The Government plans to update and modernise the divorce process in order to remove the idea of blame and fault by introducing the No Fault divorce.

Designed to reduce conflict and enable couples to divorce more amicably, the No Fault divorce will reform the divorce and dissolution of civil partnerships process for the better.

Current Divorce Process

At the moment, the divorce process in England and Wales requires one party to start the process by filing for divorce or dissolution and blame needs to be apportioned.

The motive for divorce needs to be given as one of 3 reasons:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion

If one party is unable to provide evidence of guilt, the couple has to separate for 2 years before the marriage or civil partnership can be legally dissolved. If one party contests the divorce then the period of separation is 5 years.

No Fault Divorce

The main difference with the new divorce law is that it removes the need to attribute blame for the breakdown of the relationship. Instead, the reason for divorce or dissolution can be given as 'irretrievable breakdown' and there is no need to provide evidence of bad behaviour.

As a guide, the No Fault divorce or dissolution of civil partnerships:

  • Requires a statement of irretrievable breakdown rather than blame
  • Removes the option of contesting the divorce
  • Enables a joint application to be made
  • Has a minimum time frame of 6 months to allow for reflection
  • Uses plain English throughout the process (for example, Decree Absolute will be called Final Order)

Benefits Of No Fault Divorce

The No Fault divorce is designed to remove the blame and guilt element of the current divorce process, with benefits including:

  • Reduced conflict between the divorcing couple
  • Ability to divorce more amicably and focus on important issues like child arrangements and financial settlement
  • Positives for every family member, especially children, as parents don't have to apportion blame and can apply for divorce jointly

Helping You With Your No Fault Divorce    

The plan to reform the divorce process is definitely positive and we believe it will help to reduce stress for divorcing couples and those dissolving a civil partnership by removing the need to attribute blame.

The No Fault divorce should enable couples to divorce more amicably and focus on what matters for their family rather than playing the blame game.

The new divorce will speed up the process and greatly reduce the emotional distress for both parties, and their families. Our specialist family law solicitors will provide all the advice and guidance you need to ensure you're fully supported throughout the process and achieve the best possible outcome for you.

To speak to one of our specialist solicitors about your divorce or dissolution, please contact us at our Failsworth office on 0161 681 4005  or Chorlton office on 0161 860 7123 email failsworth@hlfberry.com or chorlton@hlfberry.com