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One Year of No-Fault Divorce

Posted on 06th April 2023 in Family Law

Posted by

Aimee Aspinall

Senior Associate & Solicitor
One Year of No-Fault Divorce

What is No-Fault Divorce?

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 included the introduction of no-fault divorce. It has allowed couples who wish to divorce, to do so in an amicable manner, without the need to blame the other spouse. Under the new law, the only reason which is to be relied upon by a couple is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

These changes also apply to the dissolution of civil partnerships.

Has no-fault divorce had a positive impact on divorcing couples?

The new system is more simplistic allowing couples to obtain a divorce without stating for example their spouse’s unreasonable behaviour. This therefore results in a less negative impact on couples and is less contentious, meaning that parties can continue to have a working relationship and resolve matters on an amicable basis.

There is also now an option to apply for divorce jointly, so parties can file joint applications.

It has helped to reduce the emotional and mental trauma of divorce proceedings. Previously, the spouse served with a divorce petition was met with negative statements which could be emotionally traumatising for them.

It has allowed couples to divorce in an amicable manner and with less hostility resulting in parties being able to negotiate to resolve further aspects of their divorce for example, their finances and child arrangements.

It has also helped to empower the people who may have been frightened of proceeding with a divorce and who previously felt the divorce system was scary and did not know how to complete the dreaded detailed application.

Has no-fault divorce had a negative impact?

Some separating couples feel that the new divorce law lacks accountability. This can depend on the reason for the breakdown of the relationship, but one spouse may feel that the reason for the divorce is due to the behaviour of their spouse and they are no longer able to hold them accountable for this when applying for the divorce.

A spouse also does not now have the option to contest a divorce and proceedings can only be disputed on limited grounds e.g coercion or fraud.

How can we help?

If you require any further advice on the divorce process or require assistance to proceed with a divorce, please do not hesitate to contact our specialist Divorce and Finances Team. 

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