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No-Fault Divorce

In the past, if you or your spouse wanted to apply for a divorce, they would have to prove one of five grounds to obtain this. However, on 6th April 2022, the law in relation to divorce changed and the concept of “no-fault divorce” came into effect.

Following the recent changes in the law on divorce, there is now only one ground for divorce:

  • The marriage has irretrievably broken down.

This change in law has been welcomed by many as couples can now get divorced without needing to establish any blame.

Joint divorce application or sole application?

Previously, one spouse had to apply for a divorce against the other spouse. Since the legal changes in April 2022, an application for divorce can now be made by one spouse, or by both spouses jointly.

Separated couples now have the following options when applying for divorce:

  • One spouse can apply for a divorce from the other as a sole applicant. The person applying for the divorce is called the “applicant” and the other spouse is known as the “respondent”
  • Both spouses can make an application for divorce jointly

How long does a divorce take?

Once you or your spouse has started an application for divorce, you must wait a minimum period of 20 weeks before the Conditional Order can be granted. This time is considered a reflection period for both spouses.

It’s useful for couples to make separate arrangements to sort out their finances and agree on any maintenance payments. As well as this, they can also arrange living and contact arrangements for children and agree on a long-term parenting plan. Once the Conditional Order is granted, there is a six-week waiting period before the Final Order can be made.

Overall, the divorce process takes approximately 26 weeks. However, it can be longer when separated spouses are dealing with any financial matters arising from their divorce.

Can I get divorced in the UK?

It is important to check whether you can get divorced in England. You must ensure that you meet all of the following criteria:

  • Your marriage is a legally recognised marriage in the UK
  • Your relationship has permanently broken down
  • You have been married for over one year

I want to get divorced but I don’t know where to start

Following the changes in the law, divorce can be approached more amicably. By removing the element of blame, the divorce should be more straightforward.

Under the previous divorce law, to get a divorce a spouse had to prove that the marriage had irretrievably broken down due to one of the following grounds:

  • The other person had committed adultery
  • The other person had behaved unreasonably
  • The other person had deserted you for at least two years
  • You had been separated for two years and the other person agreed to the divorce
  • You had been separated for five years

This meant that unless the parties had been separated for at least two years, the person applying for the divorce had to allocate blame on the other spouse. As you can imagine, this caused a lot of tension between spouses.

The current law on divorce now removes the need for spouses to blame each other. No fault divorce has made the divorce process easier, however, there are still complexities that arise and other considerations in relation to separation.

This means that it is vital that you seek expert advice. Our solicitors can represent you throughout this process and explain all your options, allowing you to make an informed decision.

How do I make arrangements for children, money, and property?

Here at Specters, we can help you sort out child arrangements, finances, and property following your separation.

Upon divorce, spouses will still have financial commitments to each other, so it is essential to resolve all financial matters and claims when divorcing. If there are children involved, it’s important to consider what their arrangements will be. Even after a divorce application is made, there are still many other arrangements that need to be dealt with. If you need any guidance with this, we are here to help.

Thankfully, financial matters and child arrangements can be resolved in various different ways. This includes through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, or through the courts.

Going forward with a divorce application

We know how hard it can be emotionally when going through a divorce. This is why our team is here to help you with any questions which you may have. We want to make sure your process is as smooth as possible, and we understand the importance of doing what’s best for any children involved.

If you would like to go ahead with a divorce application, make sure to contact us today to speak with a friendly member of our team.