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What does this mean for you if you want to get a divorce?

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The concept of a no-fault divorce is set to revolutionise the divorce process in the UK. 

For so long there has been an out-of-date concept of five grounds an individual could rely on in order to prove the marriage has irretrievably broken down. The concept of a no-fault divorce being introduced as the law is a procedure that will not apportion blame to either party. 

What are the current grounds for divorce? 

The current grounds for divorce are adultery, unreasonable behaviour, separation for a certain period of time and dissertation. Each ground currently implies that one party is to blame for the divorce. But we know that some marriages fall apart for no reason other than the parties falling out of love with each other or just growing apart. Therefore, the introduction of a no-fault divorce will save for any animosity during the proceedings and will allow parties to focus on dividing assets and deciding on child arrangements amicably without there being any resentment or bitterness. 

The implementation of a no-fault divorce is much needed in the UK. Currently, there is a form of no-fault divorce, if it can be proved that parties have been separated for either 2 years with consent or 5 years separation, however, this is not practicable or applicable for everyone. 

How will this change the process of divorce? 

The divorce process will remain the same and the introduction of a no-fault divorce will not mean a speedier process, nor does it mean individuals will be able to obtain a “quickie divorce”. It just allows a less contentious approach in the separation process, which could, in turn, mean the process being less expensive. This may come to fruition as parties would be more cordial when agreeing on the division of assets and child arrangements etc thus eliminating the aspect of conflict traditional divorces may incur. 

The main changes would be that the parties would only need to produce a statement with an application for divorce, stating the marriage has broken down irretrievably, and no blame will be apportioned to anyone. However, the option of contesting the divorce will be removed.  

There will be a period of reflection – a minimum of 20 weeks – from when the application for divorce is made to when a Conditional Order (currently known as Decree Nisi) can be made. This will allow time for the parties to consider their decision before proceeding to make the final order (currently known as Decree Absolute).

Get in touch  

If you are starting the divorce process or are already in the midst of divorce proceedings, and a no-fault divorce suits your situation better than the current process, it may be worth postponing the proceedings until the new law is expected to come into effect in Autumn 2021 if possible.  

To talk to our specialist Divorce Solicitors about your options and what may work best for you or to discuss no-fault divorces in more detail, please call us on 0207 095 5700 or email