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All you need to know about no fault divorce

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The ending of a marriage and/or civil partnership is a daunting and emotional time. We have specialist no fault divorce solicitors near you who can give you expert advice and represent you through the legal process to bring your marriage or civil partnership to an end.

What is a no fault divorce?

The No Fault Divorce introduced by the government on the 6th April 2022 has streamlined the divorce process but more importantly has provided that no party to the marriage or civil partnership need to provide a reason for the break down other than the marriage has irretrievably broken down, hence the reference to No Fault.  This is no doubt to encourage a constructive and amicable approach by both parties.  As with the previous Divorce Law the parties must have been married for at least 1 year prior to the issue of the no fault divorce.

What changes has the no fault divorce made?

  1. Removed the requirement to establish one of five facts to prove the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or civil partnership.
  2. Updated the language making the divorce process more user friendly;
    • 'Petitioner' (the party bringing the proceedings) is now referred to as the 'Applicant'.
    • 'Decree Nisi' has become a 'Conditional Order'
    • 'Decree Absolute' has become a 'Final Order'
  3. A revolutionary change is there can be a 'Joint Application for no fault divorce' with the parties applying together. A sole application can still be submitted if a joint application is not agreed.
  4. A fundamental change is that the Divorce cannot be defended as it is based on no fault. In exceptional circumstances the divorce may be contested when for example a party alleges the marriage was not valid or the English or Welsh court does not have jurisdiction.
  5. Introduced a new minimum period of 20 weeks from the start of proceedings to when the ‘Conditional Order’ can be made.
  6. Kept the 6 week period between the Conditional Order (previous Decree Nisi) and when the Final Order (previous Decree Absolute) can be made

The effect of the no fault divorce on separating couples

  1. With there being no stipulation of blame for the divorce the parties are likely to be more amicable and concentrate their efforts and time to address the important issues of the division of finances and the arrangements for any children of the family.
  2. Costs are kept to a minimum due to there being no prospect of the divorce being defended.
  3. The parties can apply online
  4. The timescales for the stages of the divorce process mean overall that the divorce will take 6 months to conclude from issue to Final Order. This provides the parties with the time to organise the division of their finances and the care arrangements for any children of the family.

How our no fault divorce solicitors can help you

Whilst the no fault divorce has made the process of divorce more accessible and straightforward, it is important to seek expert advice from a divorce solicitor who can advise you and guide you through the process. Our divorce solicitors also specialise in financial and children matters. As part of the Divorce you should obtain a Financial Order to determine the Finances of the Marriage this is a separate and much more complex process to the Divorce albeit the Court will neither grant nor approve a Financial Order until the Conditional Order within the no fault divorce has been made.