After receiving royal assent in June 2020, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act is set to come into force on 6th April 2022.

What does this mean?

The biggest change to divorce law in recent history means that there is no longer a requirement to assign blame during divorce proceedings. ‘No – fault divorce’ is set to allow for the separation of married couples without placing fault on either party.

This major law reform will also be applicable to the dissolution of civil partnerships.

Why is there a need for divorce law reform?

Currently to issue divorce proceedings in England, an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage must be proven using one of five facts:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion
  • 2 years separation with consent
  • 5 years separation without consent

The reform of the law will introduce a new method of establishing a relationship breakdown, that of ‘no-fault’ of either party.

It has been argued for many years that the necessity for blame within divorce proceedings often leads to further conflict between the separating couple. When children are involved, this can be especially harmful.

The aim of this law reform is to increase the ease of proceedings whilst allowing separated couples, with children, to remain amicable during a divorce or dissolution without confrontation, in the hope that the best possible outcome will be reached for all parties involved. 

How will no-fault divorce work? 

Not only will the idea of fault be removed from divorce proceedings but when opting for a no-fault divorce the other party will have already been given notice of the divorce and so the option of contesting the divorce will be removed. A contested divorce occurs where the separating parties can’t agree to the terms of their separation.  No-fault divorce proceedings therefore allows for the avoidance of the lengthy and expensive court proceedings associated with a contested divorce. Subsequently, the finalisation of no fault divorces are likely to occur on a significantly shorter time-scale.

If the divorce is consented to, by both parties, they will be able to make a joint application to the court allowing for a more hassle free separation.

What we can do for you? 

Here at Lupton Fawcett our family solicitors will provide tailored guidance in order to allow for an efficient divorce while keeping your interests protected.

We offer a wide range of services including reviewing divorce petitions and applying for a divorce on your behalf. All of which is done after determining the best way to approach each specific situation.

In cases where both parties would like to reach a mutual agreement prior to filing for divorce, we offer mediation as a way of resolving any such issues that may arise.

For further advice on divorce, dissolution of civil partnerships or separation please contact one of our specialist family law solicitors: Andrew Smith in York, Richard Buckley in Sheffield, or Chris Burns in Leeds.

Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.

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