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No Fault Divorce Ends The Blame Game

No Fault divorce ends the blame game

By Emily Hugo, Solicitor, Family.

From 6 April 2022, the new divorce process will be implemented. This is a long awaited change for family law.

The key changes are:

  • The parties can apply for a divorce together (a ‘joint application’)
  • No reason or justification for the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage is required (which means no-one is ‘blamed’ for the end of the relationship)
  • There are limited reasons a person can dispute the divorce taking place
  • The process will now take a minimum of six months.

In our experience, whether people are desperate for a divorce, or do not want the relationship to be over, it is an incredibly emotional period of their lives. Those involved have often shared a significant period of their lives with one another and have shared friends, interests and/or children. They then have to go through an adversarial or lengthy divorce process.

The new process will enable people to apply for a divorce without having to place blame on their spouse. They can simply state that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. In addition, the divorce isn’t able to be defended. There are only very limited circumstances in which the other party can object to the divorce proceeding. This will prevent the parties having to argue to the court over whether a divorce should be granted. The current law merely leads to heightened tensions between the parties and causes additional stress. This can now be avoided.

These changes have been made to make the process more placid. A couple can now get divorced without placing blame or opening up old wounds. The new law recognises that most people simply want to move on with their lives and keep things as amicable as possible ­ –this is particularly important where they have children together. It will also ensure that divorces aren’t defended unnecessarily, making the process more predictable and smoother. This shift is hugely positive, although with any major change in the law, it’s likely that there could be some initial ‘teething issues’ as the new system is implemented.

If you need advice about getting a divorce, we’re here to support you, visit our web page.