In April 2022, the UK government implemented the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020. This UK legislation was designed to remove the concept of fault and the use of the legal reasons for divorce used in the past.
The introduction of the new no-fault divorce option means that the breakdown of a relationship is the only reason for divorce and puts an end to partners shifting blame onto each other.
What does a no-fault divorce mean?
The new divorce law simplifies the process of divorce and removes the option to contest the divorce. The main changes in the no-fault divorce are detailed below:
– The parties need only produce a simple statement of irretrievable breakdown – no blame will be apportioned to either party
– An application for divorce can be made jointly or by a sole applicant
– The option of contesting the divorce is no longer an option
– Terminology has changed: Decree Nisi is now a ‘Conditional Order’ and Decree Absolute a ‘Final Order’.
– There is now a period of reflection – a minimum of 20 weeks – from when the application for divorce is made to when a Conditional Order can be made. This provides a period of reflection for the parties to consider their decision.
– The process is to be completed within 7-10 months from the initial application.
– The no-fault divorce process continues with the previous 2 step process of Court approval and Issuance of a divorce certificate.
How does no-fault divorce work?
The new no-fault divorce process has made the divorce process more simple, and the divorce application can be made online.
Step 1: No-fault Divorce Application – An applicant applies for a “Divorce Order”. There are 3 options for this –
– File yourself using the government portal
– Use a no-fault divorce lawyer to file the paperwork for you
– Use an online divorce service
Step 2: Divorce Order – Once the application has been issued, the applicant can then apply for a “Conditional Order” of divorce (replacing the old Decree Nisi).
Step 3: Conditional Order – This must be applied for within 20 weeks of the application. This period gives people time to consider their no-fault divorce application and to withdraw it if they wish to do so.
Step 4: Court Statement – Both parties will need to send a statement to the court and neither of them will have to rely on the previously used five facts in order to proceed with the divorce.
Step 5: Final Order – The applicant will then have to apply for a “Final Order” of divorce and confirm once again their intention to divorce with the courts. This usually is approved within 6 weeks of application.
The new rules will enable both parties to issue the application for divorce either jointly or only by one of the parties. In total,the no-fault divorce process will take around 7 – 10 months.
The UK government have provided this tool to see if you are eligible for a divorce.
What happens to parent arrangements and finances?
Parenting agreements and finances are separate areas of a divorce and are not covered under the no-fault divorce law. A separate agreement must be drawn up confirming how you are going to raise your children whilst living separately and also agree on a fair division of your assets and any ongoing payments. Our family law solicitors can help you draw up a child arrangement order.
How much does a no-fault divorce cost?
The standard court fees are currently £593 for a no-fault divorce petition. This means that no-fault divorces are technically no cheaper than the previous divorcing method, however, as it cannot be contested, it could save applicants £1000s if the decision to divorce was not mutual or accepted by both parties.
Using the expertise of a no-fault divorce lawyer will add additional legal costs but our team of no-fault divorce solicitors in Leeds can discuss these with you ahead of instruction. We can advise you on matters such as how finances should be divided on divorce, preparing documents and helping with negotiations.
How Henry Hyams no-fault divorce lawyers can help you
Our no-fault divorce lawyers are one of the top law firms in Leeds and have the experience and expertise to guide you through any no-fault divorce proceeding that you are currently in or about to begin.
One of our no-fault divorce lawyers in Leeds, West Yorkshire, can talk you through the legal process, costs involved, and answer any questions you may have about no-fault divorces. Please contact our Leeds lawyers on the email below or contact us on 0113 2432288 for more information.
Contact our no-fault divorce solicitors in Leeds: