No Fault Divorce Solicitors

No fault divorce came into force on 6 April 2022 following the announcement of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020.
Previously, the divorce process was outdated and complicated.

No Fault Divorce Solicitors

No fault divorce came into force on 6 April 2022 following the announcement of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020.
Previously, the divorce process was outdated and complicated. You needed to evidence at least one of the five ‘facts’ for divorce.

The five facts were: –

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Separation for two years or more and both parties consent to the divorce
  • Separation for five years or more
  • Desertion for two years.

These reasons would largely require one of the parties to accept fault for the marriage breakdown.

How is no fault divorce different?

No fault divorce has some key differences to a traditional divorce. Our expert divorce solicitors can guide you through the new process to keep your divorce as amicable and straightforward as possible.

The fundamental changes are outlined below: –

  • The existing requirement to allege and prove conduct such as adultery or unreasonable behaviour has been removed.
  • The only basis for a divorce or dissolution is a simple statement of ‘irretrievable breakdown’. There is no absolute definition of irretrievable breakdown, but generally, it means that one party is unhappy in the marriage and is unable or unwilling to continue being in the marriage with their spouse.
  • For the first time, it is possible for the parties to apply for a joint divorce or dissolution.
  • There is no entitlement to defend or cross-petition save for technical reasons such as jurisdiction.
  • There is no longer an automatic application for legal costs on a divorce or dissolution. A separate application must now be made (with an additional court fee) for a costs order.
  • The new minimum time period from the divorce petition being issued to the final divorce order being made is six months (26 weeks).
Speak with our Family Law team today:
020 8852 4433
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What terminology changes are there for no fault divorce?

Traditional divorces historically used old style terminology. The introduction of no-fault divorce has sought to modernise some of this terminology to make it easier for people to follow and understand.

The new terminology is: –

  • The Petition has now become an Application
  • The Petitioner is now called the Applicant
  • Decree Nisi has been updated to Conditional Order
  • Decree Absolute has been updated to Final Order
  • Judicial Separation Decree is now a Judicial Separation Order

These updates aim to remove any daunting aspects of the process.

The introduction of joint applications means that, in such circumstances, the parties will be called Applicant 1 and Applicant 2 but there is no difference in status between the two Applicants.

When responding to a Sole Application, you will be known as the Respondent.

What has not changed?

Some aspects of divorce law have not changed, despite some significant updates.

These include:

  • The fee payable to the Court remains at £593.
  • A certified copy of the marriage or civil partnership certificate has to be provided when making an Application.
  • Divorce/dissolution applications can still invoke the power of the Court to consider separate Financial Remedy orders.
  • It is still possible to suspend the making of a Final Order until financial issues have been resolved (under section 10(2) MCA 1973).
  • One party may still request the other party to contribute towards the legal costs. Always ask your solicitor for advice surrounding this.

What is a joint divorce application?

With no-fault divorce, it is now possible for two spouses to agree to apply for a divorce together. As with traditional divorce, it will not always be appropriate – in domestic abuse cases, for example. Still, joint applications will be more straightforward than sole applications for most people.

In cases where either party is legally represented, the Application must be made through the Court’s digital service.

On joint applications, there is no requirement of service of the Application. It is also possible to apply for a conditional order jointly or it can be done traditionally where one Applicant applies solely. At this point, the Application ceases to be joint.

A 6-week waiting period applies for sole applications after a conditional order. Following the 6-weeks, there is either a joint or sole application made for a Final Order. This officially ends the marriage or civil partnership.

Family Solicitors Blackheath

Beverley Morris & Co. are an established law firm in Blackheath Village. Whether a sole or joint application, our expert family solicitors can support you throughout your divorce.

Get in Touch

If you have an family law query regarding no-fault divorce contact us for fast, constructive advice that is friendly and local.
020 8852 4433
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Family Law Team