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There are significant changes that have been made to divorce law and procedure in England and Wales with the introduction of no-fault divorce as of 6 April 2022. 

This has ended the ‘blame game’ for couples seeking to terminate their marriage or civil partnership as neither party will need to apportion blame to obtain a divorce or dissolution.

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 is welcome new legislation which has reformed parts of the existing law to provide the new no fault basis upon which to divorce. 

Under the previous law, to apply for a divorce, one needed to evidence the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage by way of adultery, unreasonable behaviour, 2 years’ separation with consent, 5 years separation or desertion. To divorce immediately, one needed to allege the other’s adultery or unreasonable behaviour which has meant that the concept of blame has been difficult to escape. 

The new law provides that instead there now be just a ‘statement of irretrievable breakdown’ without any element of blame required. Along with the mandatory use of online divorce applications via the website, it will now be easier for individuals to navigate the divorce process themselves without the need of legal assistance, although the more difficult issues relating to children and money will be unaffected by the new law and procedure. It is vital for individuals to understand that divorce only ends the marriage and the final order of divorce does not resolve financial claims arising from the marriage nor any arrangements in respect of children upon which legal assistance may be required. 

Despite all the benefits of new divorce law, there are also expected to be issues in its implementation and which are likely to require individuals to seek legal advice as a result.

Discuss your matter with our divorce lawyers

Our divorce solicitors get to understand you and your family and handle delicate matters, including no-fault divorce in a manner that ensures you achieve your desired outcome.

To speak to one of our highly experienced family law solicitors, please complete the form below and a member of our team will be in touch.

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Katie Hughes-Beddows

Katie Hughes-Beddows

Family Law Associate Solicitor

Katie is an Associate Solicitor in the firm’s Family department after successfully completing a training contract with the firm in December 2018. She supports and advises clients experiencing a wide range of issues relating to a relationship breakdown to include divorce, separation, children arrangements and financial matters.

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