No-fault divorces: what to expect
Posted on 5th January 2022
Our expert family solicitors discuss the disappointing news that the government has delayed the implementation of the new no-fault divorce until 6 April 2022.
After a number of delays, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act is looking to be implemented on the 6th April 2022. The long-awaited legislation was supposed to be implemented in the Autumn of 2021, but was pushed back until 6th April 2022. This was said to be to allow necessary IT updates and changes to first be made to the HM Courts and Tribunal Service's online divorce services.
This was disappointing news to many, including our expert family law solicitors at MG Legal, and to many couples who hoped to enact an amicable divorce without providing evidence of their marriage breakdown, rather than using one of the 5 grounds that are, presently, deemed acceptable. However, our local solicitors are happy to announce that the Act will be in place in only 3 months time.
Essentially, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act means that from April of 2022 onwards, a couple will be able to submit a joint application for a divorce, using the sole reasoning that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. When submitting the no-fault divorce in this way, the couple will not have to prove this fact to be true in any way, but will simply have to sign an accompanying statement to confirm that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
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What will the new Act do?
The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act, which is set to be the biggest change to divorce law in over 50 years, will make it much easier for couples to enact a divorce on amicable grounds. They will no longer have to meet one of the five accepted factors as evidence of the divorce breakdown.
As it stands, these are:-
The new act will take away the legal requirement for any of these requirements to be met to file for divorce, making it much easier for couples to agree to a divorce without it being essentially one person’s ‘fault’. When it does come into place, the act will also mean other changes for how the system of divorce works.
It will take away the possibility for the irretrievable breakdown claim to be challenged, which will save a lot of money in the long run that would be spent on long and weary contest proceedings.
Why is the Act being implemented?
Essentially, the Act is hoping to bring a reduction in animosity between couples who are going through a divorce. It is taking away the need for one to blame another for the failed marriage, and is also preventing couples to contest the decisions of irretrievable breakdown in the divorce proceedings. With over 30 years of experience in family law, and having worked on hundreds of divorces, we have seen our fair share of explosive and painful divorces. Our expert solicitors welcome the changes, and hope that they will bring around a substantial reduction in divorce-related disputes.
How long will it take to make a no-fault divorce under the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act?
When couples make a divorce application under the new Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act, there will be a subsequent ‘cooling-off’ period, for a minimum of twenty weeks from the start of divorce proceedings, in order to give the couple time to reflect on their decision and ensure that they still wish to go through with the divorce proceedings. When this ‘cooling off’ period has passed, the applicant(s) will need to once again give confirmation to the court that they still wish to proceed with the divorce, and they will then apply for a ‘conditional order’.
When this application has been made, it can be finalised in a further six weeks, and the final order can be obtained which can legally bring an end to the marriage. When the entire process is considered, and the necessary wait times, a no-fault divorce can be achieved in around a six -month time period.
How can MG Legal help with my no-fault divorce?
If you are getting, or thinking of getting, a divorce at some point in the near future, then our expert team of family solicitors are here to help with every step of the way.
While the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act is no longer being implemented in the upcoming months, we are well versed on all family law updates, and Will ensure that your divorce process goes as smoothly and amicably as possible, especially if you do not wish to speak badly of your spouse. See our page dedicated to this, here.
How to file for a no-fault divorce?
If you are looking to get divorced in 2022, but are hoping to do so in a no-fault way, and are waiting to use the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act, our specialist family law solicitors would advise you to reach out to an expert solicitor as soon as possible. As previously mentioned, the no-fault divorce process is looking to take around 6 months to complete, and there are a number of steps which can be taken in order to best prepare for your no-fault divorce application when the Act comes into force in April.
With the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act being implemented in the upcoming months, or family law solicitors here at MG Legal are well versed on all family law updates, and will ensure that your divorce process goes as smoothly and amicably as possible, especially if you do not wish to speak badly of your spouse.
How can I contact MG Legal?
Our team can be contacted from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, online, here, or at your local office in Lancaster, Garstang, or Longridge.
If it’s outside of Office hours, contact our team via email at email@example.com and a member of our expert team will contact you as soon as possible to discuss your enquiry.
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