End to the Blame Game

End to the Blame Game

The laws in relation to divorce are about to change.

From 6 April 2022 the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 will reform the divorce process and put an end to the ‘blame game’.

Under the current law there is 1 ground for divorce being the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and it is necessary to evidence this with 1 or more of 5 facts which are adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, 2 years separation with consent and 5 years separation.

Under the new law, the sole ground for divorce remains the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.  It is, however, no longer necessary to evidence it with 1 or more of the 5 facts.  These facts are replaced with the provision of a statement that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.  The new law also allows both parties to make a joint application where the decision to divorce is mutual.

The changes mean that once the court have issued your application for divorce you will then need to wait 20 weeks prior to being able to apply for the first stage of the divorce, to be known as the conditional order.  There will then be a minimum 6-week period between the conditional order and the application for the final order of divorce.

It will be no longer possible to contest the divorce as the court will take the statement of irretrievable breakdown as conclusive evidence that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

The new law makes sure that the language used is simple for example changing ‘decree nisi’ to ‘conditional order’ and ‘decree absolute’ to ‘final order’.

The changes also apply to the dissolution of civil partnerships.

It is hoped that these changes will help separating parties to agree children and financial arrangements amicably.

If you would like to speak to one of our family solicitors Sarah or Dominic, about this, or any other family law matter, please contact Maria on 01482 699065 email: maria.gooding@jameslegal.co.uk who will be happy to arrange a free initial telephone appointment for you.

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