No Fault Divorce - Everything You Need To Know

28th March 2022


No-Fault Divorce will soon become law

From 6 April 2022 couples wanting to divorce and go their separate ways will no longer have to play the "blame game"

Paving the way for a smoother and more amicable divorce

It is the biggest shake-up of matrimonial law since 1973 and I believe it's a game-changer for future divorcing couples

Here is what you need to know

Current law requires spouses to prove their marriage has broken down irretrievably by relying on at least one of five 'facts': adultery, behaviour, desertion, two years' separation (if the other spouse consents to the divorce), or five years separation (if the other spouse disagrees)

The new divorce law will replace the requirement to provide evidence of conduct or a period of separation to prove the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage

The possibility of contesting the decision to divorce will be removed.

The ground for Divorce remains the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, which just needs to be stated is the case

Who can issue the divorce application?

A joint application or a sole application can be submitted to the court.  The subsequent orders can be applied for either individually or jointly.

The new rules set out new terminology

The Petitioner will now be known as the Applicant

The Petition as the Application

The Decree Nisi as the Conditional Order 

The Decree Absolute as the Divorce Order 

The timetable

Day 1:  File application online

28 days: From the date of issue of the application, the court will serve the respondent or both parties (if this is a joint application) via email.  If the applicant wants to deal with service, it is anticipated that service should be undertaken within 28 days from the date of issue of the application

14 days: From the date of service of the application time to file an acknowledgement of service, or

35 days:  From the date of service time to file an answer

20 weeks: From the date of issue of the application, provided the acknowledgement of service was served within 18 weeks from the date of issue the applicant can apply for the conditional order.  If the acknowledgement of service was served later than 18 weeks from the date of issue of the application, the time to apply is no earlier than 14 days after the acknowledgement of service should have been filed.

6 weeks: After the date of the Conditional Order, both parties or one party can apply for the Divorce Order.  If the application is made by one party that party must give 14 days notice of their intention to apply.

The quickest a Divorce Order can be achieved from the date the application is with the court is 26 weeks or 6 months 

There will  no longer be an opportunity for the applicant to seek a cost order against the party - each party will be responsible for their own costs including the court application fee unless agreed otherwise between the divorcing couple 

The above is only half of your Divorce story 

The other half of your Divorce story is the termination of all existing and future financial claims either spouse may have against the other. I can help you write the end of this Chapter of your life so that it has a financially secure and positive ending  

If you want to have a chat about the first and/or second half of your Divorce story, then book a chat with me. I will go put the kettle on 


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