Divorce reform: the final stages of introducing a no-fault divorce system in England & Wales is coming

Removing fault from the divorce process has recently reached the finishing line of its parliamentary journey. Couples seeking a no-fault divorce will have to wait until autumn 2021 when it is hoped divorce reform will finally be implemented.

For more information see here: https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/no-fault-divorce-to-start-in-autumn-2021/5104682.article

In June 2020, the news was announced that the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill concluded passage through the House of Commons. Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland has stated that the timetable of implementation is being worked towards for Autumn 2021.

This is very positive news as this brings divorce law in England & Wales into the modern era allowing for a 'no-fault' divorce system.

I am sure my fellow colleagues and of course, our clients going through this process, will welcome the introduction of divorce reform. This will reduce some acrimony brought about by the current law applicable to divorce, namely the five facts you can currently base a divorce petition on. What the new divorce law will do is abolish the five facts and will remove the need to wait for a 2 year separation (with the other spouses consent) to move forward with what is as close to a no-fault divorce as we can currently achieve. The current law has caused a lot of unnecessary conflict between spouses being faced with apportioning blame if they do not want to wait for 2 years and this is often only to achieve a means to an end because the current law is outdated. One of the benefits of the proposed changes is that couples will be able to divorce on the single ground of irretrievable breakdown.

For further advice about how this might impact you if you are considering a divorce, please do not hesitate to contact our Emily Botham to discuss this further.