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6 April 2022 is the date that divorces can finally be commenced on a no-fault basis

By Gemma Gillespie, Partner

After writing numerous articles on the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill 2019 which provides for no fault divorce, we are pleased that 6 April 2022 is the date that divorces can finally be commenced on a no-fault basis.

From 6 April 2022, the following changes are made:

• Separating couples will no longer have to rely on one of the five facts to prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. Instead, the law will introduce the requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown.

• The ability to contest a divorce, dissolution or separation will be removed.

• The language will change so that Petitioner will become Applicant, Decree Nisi will become a Conditional Order and Decree Absolute will become a Final Order;

• Joint applications will become possible, although applicant will still be able to submit a sole application if their partner does not agree to the divorce;

• The six-week period between the Conditional Order and when the Final Order can be made will remain;

• A new minimum period of 20 weeks from the start of proceedings to when the Conditional Order can be made will be introduced. This is intended to be a period of reflection for the parties to consider whether they truly want to separate.

The new law takes away the need to ‘blame’ one party and will promote a more conciliatory and constructive approach to divorce and separation. The proposed changes should simplify the process and reduce conflict between couples, allowing them to focus on issues such as children arrangements and division of the matrimonial assets.

After so many false dawns it is finally in sight!

If you would like to discuss any of the above issues or any other family matter, please do not hesitate to contact Gemma Gillespie by email: or by telephone on: 01892 515022.

This blog is not intended as legal advice that can be relied upon and CooperBurnett does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of its contents.

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March 24, 2022
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