The new “no fault divorce” is due to start on the 6 April 2022. Prior to this, divorces have only been issued on the current ground of an irretrievably breakdown of a marriage, relying on one of the five facts; adultery, unreasonable behaviour, separation of 2 years with consent, separation of 5 years, or desertion.
As of April 6th, whilst the ground of an irretrievable breakdown will still remain, you no longer need to prove it by relying on one of the 5 facts.
What does this mean in practice? There are a few changes of note:
- As the name suggests, to obtain a divorce without waiting, you no longer have to blame the other party;
- The divorce will be able to be issued by both parties jointly if they agree; and
- There will be a minimum of 20 weeks between reaching the first and second stage of the divorce to allow for any possible reconciliation.
However, the main change will be that it will no longer be possible to contest a divorce. Therefore, if your spouse issues a divorce petition under this new law, there is no ability to challenge this and stop the divorce.
If an application for a divorce is issued by one party, the court will take that as conclusive evidence that the marriage has broken down irretrievably and MUST make a divorce order. Some spouses might now find themselves divorced against their wishes but unable to challenge it.
You will still be unable to apply for a divorce until 12 months have passed from the date of the marriage.
For more information or to speak to a member of the Family Team about “no fault divorce”, call us on:
Exeter 01392 285000 Cullompton 01884 33818