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No Fault Divorce UK - What Is No-Fault Divorce?

No Fault Divorce UK - What Is No-Fault Divorce?

As of April 6, 2022, England and Wales implemented no-fault divorce as part of several changes to UK divorce law, which were introduced by the Divorce, Dissolution, and Separation Act 2020 and became effective from this date.

No-fault divorce allows couples to terminate their marriage or civil partnership without assigning blame to either party for the breakdown of their relationship. This approach eliminates the possibility of one spouse contesting the divorce, which in some cases could have caused the other spouse to endure a prolonged and contested divorce process. The term ‘no blame divorce’ is also sometimes used.

The recent changes to UK divorce law bring about significant alterations and simplifications to the divorce process in England and Wales, applicable also to civil partnership dissolution. For individuals contemplating divorce, it is crucial to grasp the implications of these modifications, particularly the introduction of no-fault divorce, and understand how they will affect their own divorce proceedings.

How does a no-fault divorce work?

To apply for a divorce under the new no fault divorce law, you simply need to make an application including a ‘statement of irretrievable breakdown’. This is essentially a statement saying that your relationship has broken down to the point that the marriage cannot continue.

You can either apply by yourself (a sole application) or together with your spouse (a joint application). The application will now normally be made online.

Can You Contest a No-Fault Divorce?

In almost all cases, it is no longer possible to contest a divorce application started by your spouse. However, there are some very limited circumstances where it may be possible to contest the divorce e.g. if the English and Welsh courts do not have jurisdiction to handle your divorce.

If you believe you have grounds to contest a divorce application or your spouse is attempting to contest your divorce, we will be happy to advise.

How Long Does a No-Fault Divorce Take?

The procedure for a no-fault divorce is outlined below:

  • Single or joint application for a divorce order made

  • 20 weeks later, and having confirmed that the applicant or applicants still wish to go ahead, the Conditional Order will be made by the court

  • 6 weeks later, the Final Order will be made.

In total, therefore, a no-fault divorce timeline will take around 7 – 10 months.

Dealing With Finances In No Fault Divorce

When you get a no-fault divorce, it doesn't automatically end your financial responsibilities to your spouse. So, it's essential to deal with financial matters during the divorce process by obtaining a Financial Order (Consent Order approved by the Court). If you don't, one of you could make financial claims against the other after the divorce is finalised.

How RJM Solicitors Can Help With a No-Fault Divorce

RJM Solicitors can help with the following processes: 

  • Advising on how finances should be divided on divorce.

  • How the family home will be dealt with.

  • How pensions and other savings and investments might be split and whether there is a requirement for maintenance payments.

  • Preparing documents, for example, the consent order to create a legally binding financial agreement between the parties.

  • Advising on entitlements and helping to negotiate. If no agreement can be reached, RJM Solicitors will advise as to the merits of issuing court proceedings and will represent you within these proceedings.

  • Implementing orders, whether by consent or decided by the court.

  • Preparing cases to be presented to the court and conducting the proceedings where disputes cannot be settled.

This isn’t an exhaustive list but illustrates that the divorce itself may only be a small part of the legal process of relationship breakdown.

Understanding What a No-Fault Divorce Is and How It Works

Navigating the challenging process of divorce requires the support of experienced professionals who can guide you through every step with sensitivity and expertise. At RJM Solicitors, we understand the emotional and legal complexities involved in divorce, and our team is committed to providing you with the compassionate assistance you need during this difficult time. Our focus is on achieving fair and equitable outcomes while safeguarding your rights and interests. By choosing RJM Solicitors for your divorce proceedings, you can rely on our knowledge and dedication to ensure a smoother transition into the next chapter of your life. Don't face the divorce process alone; reach out to us today to benefit from our professional service and find the support and understanding you deserve.


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