From the 6th April 2022, the usual five “proof’s” for a divorce (adultery, behaviour, 2 year separation with consent, 2 year desertion and 5 year separation without consent) will no longer be needed. Instead the ‘no-fault’ divorce will take its place at long last, removing some of the pain and acrimony of divorce.

At the moment, one party must file petition for the divorce and effectively place blame on the other party. Alternatively, the parties would have to wait for at least a 2 or 5 year separation before being eligible for a divorce. This just adds to the suffering and cost of divorce.

What has changed?

The law no longer requires one person to place blame on the other, either one or both parties can jointly apply for a divorce.

In replacement of the ‘proofs, one or both parties will need to file a statement to the court with an explanation as to why the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

There will no longer be delays in waiting for the other party to acknowledge the petition, resulting in a quicker divorce process. The new legislation allows a 20 week ‘cooling off’ period where parties can make arrangements or change their mind before the divorce is finalised.

The hope is that this new process will improve the prospects of parties achieving an amicable divorce. It will encourage a system in which parties do not have to point the finger and blame each other.

The other benefit of this new legislation is that parties will no longer have to wait to meet the other “proofs” before petitioning for divorce.  This will allow both parties to move on and help them to deal with the other aspects of divorce, such as any financial or children arrangements, without acrimony.

Key Points

  • No fault divorce
  • Estimated time for completion – 6 months or less
  • The ‘Petitioner’ becomes ‘The Applicant’
  • The ‘Decree Nisi’ becomes the ‘Conditional Order’
  • The ‘Decree Absolute’ becomes the ‘Final Order’