Biggest Family Law Change In Decades Comes Into Force After Thirty Years Of Campaigning
The biggest change to family law in decades has finally come into force (6 April 2022) with no-fault divorce becoming law, after thirty years of campaigning.
Couples will be able to apply for a divorce together (a ‘joint application’) with no reason or justification for the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage required. The process will now take a minimum of six months and there will be very limited circumstances in which the other party can object to the divorce proceeding. This will prevent arguments in court over whether the divorce should be taking place and who is to ‘blame’.
Expert Opinion“No fault divorce means evidence won’t be needed for supporting irretrievable breakdown with fault-based particulars – ending the ‘blame game’, reducing conflict and making divorce much more straightforward for couples.
This welcomed new law has been due for a long time, and reflects the world we live in today. Divorce is often an incredibly stressful and emotional period in someone’s life, and by removing fault or blame, it will take the heat out of the process and encourage couples to resolve disputes using a less litigious approach.
As a result, we are more likely to see couples resolving disputes using alternative methods such as collaborative divorce, mediation, and arbitration. These methods often reduce stress, tension and upset during the divorce process, helping couples to start on the right foot and divorce amicably wherever possible. This is particularly important where a couple have children together.” Ros Bever - Partner
Under the previous law, couples wanting to separate in the UK would have had to provide ‘facts’ to prove that their relationship had broken down, effectively placing blame on one party. These facts are:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Separation for at least 2 years with the consent of both parties
- Separation for at least 5 years even if one party disagrees
- Desertion for at least 2 years
Find out more about our expertise in helping with relationship breakdowns or call 0370 1500 100 to see how we can help you.