The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill gained Royal assent on the 26th June 2020, ending years of campaigning to take away the necessity to blame one of many events when searching for to divorce- permitting for no-fault divorce. 

The new no-fault divorce legislation is because of be carried out within the autumn of 2021. 

The marketing campaign for no-fault divorce

The marketing campaign for no-fault divorce has been operating for a few years, championed by Decision, an organisation primarily for household attorneys who see the injury that blame could cause to separating {couples}.

As household attorneys, we recognise that taking away blame is not going to encourage extra folks to divorce as some folks concern. As a substitute, it can assist those that determine that their marriage or civil partnership is past hope of reconciliation to cope with the authorized and sensible penalties with out getting caught up within the “blame sport”. 

There stays a typical false impression that “fault” will materially influence a monetary award. The straightforward fact is that “dangerous” behaviour is never taken into consideration when calculating what a monetary settlement ought to be. 

Nevertheless, it’s troublesome for purchasers to separate the truth that they’re counting on behaviour or adultery as the explanations for divorce from the discussions about funds. The idea that if somebody has been wronged, there ought to be a consequence for the opposite social gathering is a pure human response. 

However that isn’t how the courts regard it within the overwhelming majority of instances and haven’t finished so for many years. Needing or wanting responsible creates an pointless distraction for many individuals partaking within the divorce course of the place the main focus ought to be on reaching a decision as rapidly and painlessly as attainable.

Eradicating blame helps mother and father keep away from pointless battle when deciding on future preparations for his or her kids. It may be heartbreaking to see a father or mother use their kids towards the opposite father or mother. For instance, by denying contact or making frequent damaging feedback about their ex. Taking blame out of the authorized course of with this reform will assist folks to shift their focus away from “why it occurred” in the direction of a mindset of “what do we have to do now to maneuver ahead?” 

Decision and lots of different people and organisations that work with or have noticed the influence of relationship breakdowns have lengthy campaigned for a greater method for folks to separate.  A method which focuses on much less confrontational, non-litigious methods of reaching monetary settlements and discussing preparations for his or her kids. No-fault divorce is a major step alongside that street. 

No-fault divorce Q&As

Will divorce reform result in a rise in divorces?

If we take a look at different nations the place reform has taken place, there was a short lived improve within the variety of divorces. 

Nevertheless, in the primary, this has been pushed by a drop in numbers within the interval main as much as the change within the legislation as some persons are ready to attend to keep away from blame.  The “spike” then quickly returns to regular ranges and divorce numbers typically are in decline as fewer persons are getting married. 

Does no-fault divorce imply we will have a “quickie divorce”? 

No, the method entails a interval of six months earlier than you possibly can get hold of a closing divorce order.

It isn’t more likely to be faster than the present course of (placing apart the delays within the overburdened court docket system).

Will no-fault divorce encourage extra marriages to interrupt down?

No, why ought to it? {Couples} don’t interact in divorce due to the method. They aren’t occupied with the authorized steps after they determine to divorce. 

All this reform does is make it much less contentious and painful after they do determine that their marriage is past restore. 

Will or not it’s cheaper to get divorced when there isn’t a blame? 

It makes logical sense that in case your separation is much less contentious, then the authorized prices will probably be decrease, however do not forget that there are sometimes monetary preparations to kind out in addition to dissolving the authorized marriage or civil partnership. 

With a no-blame tradition in place, it’s hoped that this can encourage extra constructive discussions main to raised and subsequently inexpensive outcomes.

Ought to I look forward to no-fault divorce?

So in case you are contemplating commencing divorce proceedings, is it value ready for the brand new legislation to return into impact (due autumn 2021)? 

In spite of everything, it can cast off any have to attribute blame for the breakdown of your marriage, probably scale back any animosity, and make it more likely that preparations for any dependent kids and funds will probably be sorted out amicably. 

The next two eventualities spotlight why ready for a no-fault divorce might be a good suggestion.  

Situation 1:

You latterly separated out of your partner. Your partner is unlikely to consent to a divorce and hasn’t dedicated adultery. 

Below the current legislation, your solely choices are to attend till you might have been separated for 5 years, or to allege that your partner has behaved unreasonably. 

You’ll fairly not take the latter course, however ready for 5 years could be insufferable, so you’re contemplating issuing an ‘unreasonable behaviour’ divorce petition. 

How about simply ready till no-fault divorce is available in as a substitute? You’ll not have to make any allegations towards your partner, and won’t want their consent to a divorce.

Situation 2:

You need to concern divorce proceedings on the premise of your partner’s ‘unreasonable behaviour’. 

Nevertheless, they don’t need a divorce, and you’re sure that they are going to take sturdy objection to any allegations you make, making it for much longer, costlier, and extra irritating. 

Why not wait till no-fault divorce is available in, as a substitute of issuing the divorce now? That method, you’ll not have to make any allegations towards your partner, who won’t be able to defend the divorce. 


Now, all the above is only a little bit of a ‘thought experiment’. It most definitely doesn’t symbolize authorized recommendation. In case you are contemplating commencing divorce proceedings, it is best to search the recommendation of a practising professional household lawyer. 

Stowe Household Legislation has the experience you want. For additional info, see our divorce lawyer web page.

Get in contact

If you want any recommendation on what no-fault divorce means in apply or different household legislation points, please contact our Consumer Care Crew to talk to one in all our specialist divorce lawyers here.