The Government’s long-awaited Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 which primarily introduces no fault divorce in England & Wales finally came into force on 6th April 2022.
It represents the biggest change in divorce law for 50 years. It comes at the end of a long campaign by family lawyers to seek to end the “blame game” and reduce the impact on separating couples that allegations of fault and blame can have on them and any children of the family.
The new law will mean that instead of having to attribute blame, a couple can mutually cite “irretrievable breakdown” as the sole ground of wanting a divorce.
The application is now made online which will mean that postal delays can be avoided. The law also removes (except in very specific and limited circumstances) the ability for the opposing spouse to defend the divorce.
How do we apply?
Separating couples can apply online either jointly, or a sole application can be made. Solicitors can also be instructed to issue an application (also online) but it will not be possible for one Solicitor to act for both parties.
The application from start to finish will take slightly longer than the current divorce process, as there is an inbuilt 20-week reflection period. It is anticipated that the divorce should therefore take approximately 6 months from start to end.
What about our financial or children issues?
The law has not changed in relation to those and you will still need to sort those out with the assistance of Solicitors or other methods of resolution.
It is therefore still vital that you seek advice about your rights in relation to financial issues including the family home, assets and pensions.
At DPM Legal we are members of Resolution and fully support the change in the law and we are committed to resolving divorce proceedings in a constructive and non-confrontational way as much as possible. If you need advice on the new law and wish to have support in making an application, or have any other family law related query, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your options. We offer an initial no obligation appointment for 30-45 mins and we can provide you with details of our hourly rates or fixed fee services.