There has been a lot of publicity in recent years regarding the possibility of a no-fault divorce process. After years of campaigning, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act will finally bring about the change that many legal professionals have been waiting for. The government has now committed to 6th April 2022 for the introduction of this Act.
As the law currently stands, a couple wishing to separate amicably, without one party placing the blame on the other, cannot obtain a divorce unless they have been separated for over two years. If a couple have been separated for less than two years, they will only be able to obtain a divorce by citing the other party’s adultery or unreasonable behaviour as the cause for the breakdown in the marriage. In summary, a couple who have simply drifted apart cannot obtain an amicable divorce without waiting for two years before issuing proceedings, which most couples do not wish to do. This can make it difficult to avoid conflict in divorce proceedings as couples are starting from a position where they are attributing blame.
Legal professionals have been campaigning for many years to see a change to the current law so that parties can obtain a no-fault divorce before the period of two years has passed. This will hopefully make the divorce process more amicable and may lead to smoother discussions regarding any consequential issues such as children and financial matters.
The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act received royal assent in June 2020, however, there have been delays in the implementation and until 6th April 2022, the current law will continue to apply.