Posted by Gemma Rowe on 2nd July 2020

“No fault” divorce has hit the headlines after receiving Royal Assent but what does it actually mean for those seeking to divorce? In this article family lawyer Gemma Rowe explains a little more.

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 has now been introduced after receiving Royal Assent and according to Justice Minister Robert Buckland is likely to be implemented in autumn 2021.

What does this mean for me?

Although a “no fault” divorce is unlikely to be a quicker option given the minimum mandatory timeframe of six months that is required before a final divorce can be obtained, by creating an additional ground of “no-fault” couples will be able to petition on this ground jointly and have an alternative more cordial approach than the grounds currently available.

By seeking to remove the factual grounds needed to establish divorce, this could remove the element of “fault” or “blame” between couples who have reached a decision that their marriage or civil partnership is at an end. This in turn, should help parties to sort out the legal and practical consequences as amicably and as quickly as possible.

A “no-fault” divorce could help parents

A “no-fault” divorce could also help parents to focus on the future arrangements of their children, rather than the reasons why their relationship has broken down which can sometimes distract from resolving the divorce and all aspects of it.

If the divorce process becomes less disputed, calmer and less painful for couples who have decided that their marriage has come to an end, dissolving their legal marriage or civil partnership on that basis should result in lower legal costs, but couples should always ensure that there is a clean break.

This involves making sure financial arrangements are completed by way of a Financial Order and any formal child arrangements are set up.  There would be legal costs for getting these put in place but would protect individuals in the future.

Gemma Rowe is a lawyer in our divorce and finance team.  To discuss this issue or any other family law matter please do get in touch by email [email protected] or by telephone 01392 421777

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