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Ministers have announced that the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, which will allow married couples to divorce without assigning blame, will come into force on 6th April 2022.

The original date of implementation was scheduled to be in Spring of this year, however it is understood that the delay is required in order to allow for the necessary IT changes to be made to HMCTS’s online divorce systems. However, the 6th April 2022 is now a fixed date as a matter of parliamentary record whereas previous dates were simply an indication of the timetable that was previously being worked towards.

The Law Society has stated that ‘no-fault’ divorce will bring divorce into the 21st Century after 30 years of campaigning. It is hoped that the change will create a more civilized and amicable divorce process which will be of particular benefit for the welfare of any children of the family.

The Act will allow couples to be able to petition for a divorce jointly on the basis that the marriage has broken down without being required to cite one of the 5 current grounds on which a divorce can be petitioned which are currently adultery, unreasonable behavior, desertion, 2 years separation with consent or 5 years separation without consent. The majority of current divorce petitions being issued are on the basis that one party has behaved unreasonably during the marriage. This change symbolizes a significant shift in the perception of divorce however the introduction of a minimum overall timeframe for ‘no-fault’ divorce has removed any possibility of obtaining a quick divorce that many believed was going to be made available.

If you would like to speak with a member of our Family team then please call on 08000 147720 or send us an email to book a free information session. We can still offer our 30 minute free consultation, which can take place via telephone or video link, to ensure that government advice regarding social distancing and staying at home is still adhered to.