No Fault Divorce Solicitors - Family Law Partners

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No Fault Divorce

The Government’s Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, also known as ‘No Fault Divorce’, will reform the divorce process and comes into effect on 6th April 2022. Take a look at our blog No Fault Divorce – Can couples go ahead now?

What is No Fault divorce?

No Fault Divorce is a divorce in which the breakdown of the marriage or civil partnership does not require either parties to specify any wrong doing.

Before No Fault Divorce, the petitioner, in other words the party who is initiating the divorce proceedings must prove one of the facts below:

  1. Adultery
  2. Unreasonable Behaviour
  3. Desertion
  4. Two years’ separation with consent
  5. Five years’ separation without consent

What does this mean for couples wanting to get divorced?

The five facts of adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, two years’ separation with consent and five years’ separation without consent will instead be replaced by a statement of irretrievable breakdown, which couples can choose to make jointly.  This mean neither party will have to blame the other in divorce proceedings.

The benefits of No Fault Divorce

Reduced Conflict

The team at Family Law Partners have always been committed to reducing conflict throughout the divorce, dissolution or separation process, which is why we always advise you on all your dispute resolution options including mediation and the collaborative process. No Fault Divorce will, in some situations, mean that by removing the need to assign blame to either party for the breakdown of the relationship that the process for working out financial and if applicable child arrangements will be smoother –  hopefully resulting in reduced conflict and a quicker resolution.

Replaces the requirement to provide evidence or separation facts

With No Fault divorce, instead of having to provide evidence surrounding one of the five facts outline above as to the reason behind the breakdown of the marriage, this will be replaced with a requirement for a statement of irretrievable breakdown. There will also be no minimum period of separation. Couples will be able to end the marriage or partnership without the need to blame, or by separating for a lengthy period.

Provides the option for a joint application

Although there will still be the option for sole applications, the change in legislation allows the parties to apply jointly and to have an amicable separation with less impact on their relationship and children.

Removes the opportunity to contest

Although there would still be some legal grounds for challenging an application, the change in law means that it can remove the opportunity for either party to contest the divorce or dissolution which will save couples time, costs and stress.

Reduces time

The introduction of a minimum time frame of six months from petition stage to decree absolute means that the timeframe for a divorce or dissolution is significantly reduced. The introduction of a new minimum period of 20 weeks from the start of proceedings to when the conditional order can be made allows the parties to reflect on whether this is what they want, and also allows parties time to divide their finances, agree maintenance payments if necessary, and sort out child residence/contact/parenting plan.

Modernising the process

The archaic language used within the divorce process will be modernised, for example, terms such as decree nisi will be changed to ‘conditional order’, decree absolute will be changed to ‘final order’ and petitioner will be simplified to ‘applicant’.

How our No Fault Divorce solicitors can help

Our team of family law specialists are experts in divorce and separation and understand that, often, couples don’t want to assign blame and would like the option to separate amicably. The No Fault Divorce change has been welcomed by the whole Family Law Partners team.

Even though No Fault Divorce will hopefully have a positive impact on the divorce and dissolution process we recognise that this time in your lives can be extremely difficult emotionally, we are one of only a small number of family law firms to have a family consultant fully embedded in our team. Kim Crewe is our trained relationship therapist who is there to help couples navigate their way through the process of separation.

If you are planning going through the No Fault Divorce process then you might want to seek the advice of a family lawyer beforehand. They can help you understand your legal position – now and in the future – as well as ensuring that you are in the best possible position should you decide to move forward.

Contact our friendly No Fault Divorce solicitors

If you would like an appointment with one of our specialists in Brighton, London, Horsham, Kent, Essex, North Hampshire & Surrey or South/Mid Hampshire then please contact us on 0330 055 2234.

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