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Family Law

No fault divorce

No fault divorce

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Divorce “blame game” is set to end. Ministers announced yesterday that the long awaited “no fault divorce” will mean that from April 2022 divorcing couples will no longer have to blame one another for the breakdown of their marriage.

Currently, a person wishing to divorce either has to make allegations about their spouse’s conduct or wait until they have been separated for at least 2 years.

The new law will mean that instead of having to blame one person for the breakdown of the marriage a couple can mutually cite “irretrievable breakdown” as the sole ground for wanting a divorce. This can be done either in a joint statement or by one spouse.

It is hoped that by removing blame, separating couples can avoid unnecessary conflict, making the divorce process faster, less costly and more amicable.

Should I wait for no-fault divorce?

Weighing up whether it is worth delaying starting divorce proceedings until the new law comes into effect, will be a matter for each person or couple depending on the facts of the case.

Many couples may wish to wait for the new laws to come into effect before divorcing, to avoid the need to apportion blame during the divorce process. Nevertheless, in the interim it is advisable to seek legal advice as to whether to enter into separation agreement to regulate how the finances shall be dealt with whilst you are waiting to divorce.

For other couples, it will be necessary to apply for a divorce as early as possible, so that financial matters can be finalised. Often it is necessary to make an early application to the court for a financial order, for instance to ensure that the financially weaker spouse has financial support in place or to prevent one party from hiding or disposing of assets. For other separating couples they may need to separate their finances without delay, perhaps due to tax implications.

If you need any advice, guidance or support, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly and caring team.  We have a number of ways that you can have contact with us depending on your preference and situation; you can call us on 0191 232 8451, email familydepartment@samuelphillips.co.uk, use our live chat facility on our website www.samuelphillips.co.uk or arrange a Zoom or a Teams video call.

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