‘No-fault’ divorces set to become law

The Government is continuing with its Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill which will remove the current need to assign a fact, or in other words assign fault, behind why the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

In an article produced by the GOV.UK website, the reasoning behind the move was to protect children and keep relationships among divorcees amicable, by removing the need to make unnecessary allegations against each other and instead either solely or jointly provide a statement that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

The new bill will also see the removal of being able to contest a divorce, the Government release citing that this has been a utilised step by domestic abusers to exercise coercive control over their spouse.

Simpler, not quicker

While this does simplify the divorce process and makes it more accessible to those who need it, it will be a longer process to apply for compared to the current divorce process.

Applicants will need to wait for a period of 20 weeks after the initial petition period before a Decree Nisi application will be granted. This introduction is to provide a ‘meaningful period of reflection’ where couples can choose to turn back on the divorce, or if it is inevitable, make future arrangements and settle outstanding issues in relation to the divorce.

The final application period for the Decree Absolute, the final decree for divorce, will continue at six weeks under the plans.

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