You’ve tried everything.
The holiday to make things right. The gifts. The date nights away from the kids. The promises to change or make more of an effort. The truth is, it’s nobody’s fault. You’ve simply drifted apart over the years and it’s time to face the reality – your marriage is over.
If so, you’re the perfect candidates for a no fault divorce.
Introduced earlier this year – as part of long-awaited UK divorce reforms – this new type of divorce is intended to facilitate a more productive approach to separation. Encouraging reconciliation (wherever possible), but ultimately, trusting the judgement of the couple involved.
Here’s a breakdown of how it works.
The new ‘no fault divorce’ system explained
- You won’t be forced to blame each other
Under previous law, a divorce (or civil partnership dissolution) could often become a long, bitter and acrimonious process – even if it started out amicably.
Why? Because someone had to take the blame.
Since the launch of the no fault divorce in April 2022, this is no longer the case.
There is absolutely no need to point the finger for the failure of your marriage. Now, couples can get a divorce on the sole basis that things didn’t work out – without having to cite one of the traditional grounds for divorce (i.e. adultery, unreasonable behaviour etc.).
You can simply say ‘I no longer do’ by making a statement and that statement will be taken as conclusive evidence that your marriage has broken down. Which means, there’s less chance of agonising (and unnecessary) conflict and everyone can move on with their lives much quicker.
- You can apply for a no blame divorce together
Prior to the reforms, one person (i.e. the petitioner) would need to issue divorce proceedings against the other – even if the decision to separate was completely mutual. But now, under the new no fault divorce laws, an application can be made by one person (i.e. the applicant) or both people jointly.
Again, this change allows the divorce process to begin in a non-confrontational manner. It’s no longer a case of one person divorcing the other. You’re simply getting a divorce together.
- You’ll be given time to reflect
The reforms have received some criticism, with some people arguing they make it easier for couples to get a divorce, than it is to try and save their relationship. Therefore, a ‘period of reflection’ has also been introduced.
From the point at which you apply for a no blame divorce, you’ll need to wait a minimum of 20 weeks for the ‘conditional order’ to be issued. Subsequently, a further 6 weeks and 1 day must pass before the ‘final order’ can be granted.
This means you can’t rush into the decision. You’re given a few months to really think about your options, and possibly work through your differences, before committing fully to the divorce. But at the same time, you won’t be expected to wait a whole 2 years – as you were previously – to cite ‘separation’ as the ground for divorce.
- It’s no longer possible to contest a divorce
Worried that your spouse won’t be cooperative? There’s no need.
Historically, one person would need to file for divorce, stating the reason why their marriage has broken down – and their partner could potentially contest this. But thanks to the new no fault divorce of 2022, this is no longer an option.