For years in the UK, divorce has relied on there being disagreement or infidelity for the divorce to go through.
And whilst this is straightforward, there have been many instances of couples wanting to separate because they have simply grown apart. However, as there has not been any bad feeling or blame, they have failed to secure the process.
Now, that is changing with the introduction of no-fault divorce coming into effect across the UK in April 2022.
At Andrew & Andrew, our family solicitors Emsworth have been helping couples with divorce proceedings for many years, and when no-fault divorces become legal, we will be more than happy to offer these to couples wishing to separate too. We can help you get your life back on track without the heartache that accompanies traditional separation.
In this short article, our family solicitors Emsworth take a quick look at no-fault divorces, providing key points to this new law and how it may affect you.
What is a no-fault divorce?
According to our family solicitors Emsworth, a no-fault divorce is just that; a couple can legally separate if they are married without one party blaming the other for the marriage ending. This law will also apply to civil partnerships.
The no-fault divorce law has been praised and opposed; many people feel that removing blame can help couples who have children to remain close without there being animosity that can hurt their children or their friendship. Other people believe that this law will make divorce too easy to obtain and undermine the sanctity of marriage.
All we know at Andrew & Andrew is that traditional divorce is tough at the best of times, and if there is a way to make the process more straightforward for our clients, then that’s great!
As mentioned earlier, a no-fault divorce removes blame, which, up to now, has been a large part of divorce proceedings.
In the UK, for a traditional divorce to go ahead, couples had to choose 1 of 5 reasons; adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, 2 years of separation (with consent from both parties or 5 years of separation (not requiring consent).
As you can see, if you and your former spouse have simply grown apart, this is not covered, meaning you would have to stay in your marriage or wait for 2 years to separate.
Current divorce requires one party to start proceedings against the other.
No-fault divorce allows couples to jointly apply for the divorce, once again removing the ‘you versus me’ mentality.
To counteract concerns that a no-fault divorce makes the process too quick, there have been some time restrictions put in place.
A minimum timeframe of 20 weeks is required for the process of divorce beginning and being granted, allowing couples the time to reflect on their decision and work on saving their marriage.
Contesting a divorce
Under the current system, the spouse who receives the divorce application can contest it if they disagree that they were not unreasonable, cheating etc.
Under a no-fault divorce, you are no longer able to contest a divorce.