If you’ve been reading the news or indeed this blog, you will know by now that there are massive divorce law changes ahead in the UK.
In case you missed it, couples seeking to file for divorce under the current system will need to move a little faster in March, with the looming “Divorce Day” deadline brought forward.
It was previously thought the current system would run up to midnight on the 5th April before the new process starts on 6th April.
However, HM Courts and Tribunal Service have now said that couples have until 4pm on 31st March 2022 to apply under the current law, or wait for the divorce law changes to come into force on the 6th April.
Key dates to look out for as divorce law changes
- From 31 March 2022 you can no longer apply on the current paper or digital systems or access a saved digital application which is yet to be issued by the court
- From 31 March to 5 April 2022 the digital service will not accept new applications
- From 6 April 2022 the new paper and digital services will be available
Our take on the divorce law changes
Firstly, we are expecting the number of divorce applications to surge. If we look at America, every state that has adopted no-fault divorce has seen divorce rates increase over the next five years or so. That said, once the pent-up demand for divorces has been met, divorce rates stabilise.
We think we’ll see the same thing here and estimate there could be an additional 68,371 divorces in 2022 because couple’s waiting to use two or five years separation under the old system no longer have to wait. This could drive the total number of divorces up to 170,000, divorce numbers not seen since the peak in 1993 when 164,211 couples untied the knot.