Find out from our family law solicitors in Cardiff how no-fault divorce will work in England and Wales. The changes came into effect on 6 April 2022.
The Divorce, Dissolution, and Separation Bill is one of the most significant advances in divorce law for over half a century.
Here is a brief overview of how those thinking of divorce could be impacted and how to get a no-fault divorce.
Divorce can be granted without blame
The most important element of no-fault divorce is the removal of fault or blame from the divorce process.
Under the new law, if the couple agrees to a divorce, there will no longer be a need to prove one of the ‘five reasons’ (adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion of two years, separation of two years with consent to divorce or separation of five years without consent).
Instead, only a statement of irretrievable breakdown will be required.
At First Line Family Law Cardiff our family law solicitors believe this will be a welcome change for many. Our family lawyers believe the ‘blame game’ adds unnecessary animosity, stress, and increased costs to an already fragile situation.
No-fault divorce aims to reduce the impact that allegations of blame can have on the couple and in particular on their children, promoting a more constructive approach to separation.
These changes will also apply to the dissolution of civil partnerships.
Option for joint application
Divorce can now be applied for jointly, instead of one partner having to file for divorce.
For those who ask whether you can divorce online; you can. The application for divorce will be made online and there will be no requirement for the respondent to defend or cross apply for a divorce. This will make the process easier and more accessible to all involved.
Removal of legal terminology
The process has been further streamlined by the removal of archaic language such as ‘decree nisi’ to ‘conditional order’ for example. Making the process less confusing for those seeking to separate.
The application cannot be contested
Under the new law, the application for divorce cannot be contested by the other spouse.
It is important to remember that it will still be possible for one party to contest the division of assets or the issue of childcare arrangements. Our family solicitors always recommend taking advice on splitting assets or custody arrangements as this is separate from the actual ‘divorce’.
Introduction of minimum timeframes
A minimum timeframe of 20 weeks from the application being made and the divorce being granted will be introduced. This is being called a ‘period of reflection’ and will give couples the chance to resolve issues.
Is a no-fault divorce quicker?
That depends. In some cases, yes, as the need to prove blame is eliminated.
However, the introduction of the 20-week timeframe was to reduce the incidence of ‘quicky divorces’.
Is a no-fault divorce cheaper?
It is hoped that with a ‘no-blame’ culture the focus will be on resolution and moving forward. If the process is less contentious then it is reasonable to assume that this will result in lower legal fees, though this may not necessarily be the case for your divorce.
Not only are the solicitors at First Line Family Law Cardiff experts in family law, but they ensure divorces are dealt with in a constructive and amicable way wherever possible. Our divorce solicitors Cardiff are members of Resolution and commit to a strict code of practice that promotes a constructive approach to family law issues.