A New Year and a New Divorce Process 

April will introduce ‘no fault’ divorce.  

So, what is this and what will it mean for separating couples? 

What is the Current Law? 

Under the current law, the party applying for a divorce must show the irretrievable breakdown of marriage based on one of five facts: 

  • Unreasonable behaviour 
  • Adultery 
  • Two years’ desertion 
  • Two years’ separation with consent 
  • Five years’ separation 

To obtain a divorce without waiting years, the party must therefore place blame on their spouse.  

What is changing? 

Under the new ‘no fault’ law, either one or both parties together can apply for a divorce. The party or parties must make a statement to the Court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, but there is no need to explain the reason for the breakdown.  

Similar provisions will apply to the dissolution of a civil partnership.  

What will this mean? Will the process be quicker? 

Parties will not need to wait two or five years to apply for divorce if they do not wish to make allegations of unreasonable behaviour or adultery. 

However, there is still a two-stage process. The Court will first make a conditional divorce order. The party or parties must wait six weeks before confirming to the Court they wish to proceed, and the Court will then make a final divorce order. This is a feature of the current law and is intended as a period of reflection during which the parties may choose to reconcile.  

Key is the removal of the blame element. This will reduce conflict between parties which means they may reach agreement regarding children and finances far earlier. 

How can we help? 

Our team have a wealth of experience in divorce and are well prepared for the coming changes. We can assist you both with the divorce process and to make arrangements for your children and finances post-separation in a proactive and sensitive manner, which enables you to move forward with your life.  

You can contact us via our online form or by ringing our offices on 0151 381 9040. We will be happy to arrange a free initial appointment to advise you. 

Contact us, we are here to help

We’re here to help, so please pick up the phone or drop us an email and one of our dedicated team will help with your enquiry.