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No Fault Divorce allowed from April 2022

View profile for Emma Walker
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No Fault Divorce allowed from April 2022

It has been a matter of public record for some time that the Government were considering implementing a system whereby parties could divorce immediately, without the necessity to blame each other.

Those of you familiar with the divorce process will be aware that in order to divorce immediately, in this country, one party must accuse the other party of either unreasonable behaviour or adultery.  In other words, the “finger must be pointed” in respect of behaviour!

Last year, the Government passed The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill and it became law. It was thought that no fault divorce would be introduced in this country in the autumn of this year. Alas, that is not the case. Whilst that may have been the Government’s intention, it is clear that a considerable amount of work behind the scenes still needs to be undertaken, not least in respect of the Rules and in respect of the online IT system which is only just learning to cope with Solicitors’ details being entered on to it!  No dates for the enactment of The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 had been given and it appeared to have been kicked into the “long grass”. 

However, I have good news! Chris Philp MP on behalf of the Government has confirmed that following Royal Assent being given to the Act on 25th June 2020, the Ministry of Justice has been working closely with the Family Procedure Rules Committee to identify what changes need to be made to the Rules and they have also been working on the IT systems. Unfortunately, the law will not come into force this Autumn. Mr Philp has confirmed that the new “no fault” divorce system will commence next year on 6th April 2022.

Until then, divorces will need to continue under the old system with one party apportioning blame on the other party.

Watch this space! As soon as the new procedure becomes clear, details will be posted in these blogs. In the meantime, should you wish to divorce immediately, please contact one of our experienced family team here at Harrowells who will be pleased to help.

Our articles are intended for general information purposes only and are not a substitute for professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. We are always very happy to discuss any plans, issues or concerns you may have and to clarify how we might be able to help. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.