New ‘No-blame’ divorce law delayed for a further six months due to technical issues
The new divorce law, which will end a marriage without legal blame was expected to come into force this autumn. But the introduction of the no-fault process has been delayed to the 6th April 2022 to allow enough time to makes the necessary IT and procedural changes.
In response to a Parliamentary question, Chris Philp, Conservative MP for Croydon South, said, ‘The Government recognises the need for clarity on when these important reforms will come into force. This will now be on the common commencement date of 6 April 2022.’
Ministers believe that the new divorce process will ‘help divorcing couples resolve their issues amicably by ending the needless “blame game” that can exacerbate conflict and damage a child’s upbringing.’
While this is undoubtedly true, it is also true that the reforms will do little to reduce the arguments over property, money and children that can lead to a lifetime of bitterness between divorcing couples.
Should I wait for a no-fault divorce?
With the news in the media, we have received many enquiries from people asking if they should wait and get divorced when the new legislation comes in.
The new law requires that a divorcing couple must wait a total of six months from the date of the divorce application before the divorce can be made final with the pronouncement of decree absolute. So with the date now fixed for the 6th April 2022, the earliest you could get divorced will be October 2022. Sixteen months is a long time to keep your life on hold.
So our advice is that in most cases, is that there is no need to wait for the new no-fault divorce law.
You can already divorce using a no-fault divorce petition if you have been separated for two years and your husband or wife agrees to the divorce. And it is not necessary to have lived in separate households for the entire two years as long as you can demonstrate that you lived your life separately even though you were under the same roof. However, the rules are challenging, so if you would like a chat to see if your situation meets these criteria call Easy Online Divorce on 0204 530 8101.
But by far, the quickest way to divorce is based on unreasonable behaviour. Of course, blame has to be assigned, but this doesn’t mean the divorce proceedings have to be acrimonious. Often, separating couples go through similar patterns of reduced or no existent intimacy, poor communication and arguments that lead to more focus put on work, hobbies or family and friends rather than the relationship. These are all perfectly acceptable reasons for the court to grant a divorce, and they don’t have to provoke the wrath of the opposing spouse. And under current legislation, an uncontested divorce takes about four months on average, which is much quicker than the new legislation will allow.
To discuss any of the points raised in this article or discuss your divorce in general, give us a call on 0204 530 8101 or drop us an email.