20 April 2023

After many years of campaigning by Resolution, the Law Society and other interested bodies no-fault divorce finally became law on 6 April 2022.

The effect of the new law is that separating couples no longer need to play the ‘blame game’ to be granted a divorce. It was hoped that this would take the animosity out of divorce and ensure that more families could achieve amicable agreements. Rather than finding fault and setting it out in black and white on the divorce petition thus heightening emotions, couples could now concentrate on making key practical decisions about the children and finances.

Feedback is positive. Animosity has been removed from the actual divorce process with discussions about finances or children starting off from a better footing.

Reports are that the numbers of divorcing couples have risen since April 2022 but this was to be expected as many people waited for the new law to come into force before making an application for divorce.

The divorce application process is on-line and straightforward, there have been a few bumps along the road with it but mostly they seem to be ironed out. More people are making their own applications now and only going to solicitors to help resolve financial matters and any issues with regards to arrangements for the children. A word of warning if considering undertaking the divorce yourself; there are some traps for the unwary, for instance it is important to consider carefully when to apply for the Final Order as applying too soon may have detrimental repercussions.

With the divorce process being more accessible than before there is a risk that parties will not take legal advice and so be ill informed of their financial rights. Alternatively, as they are more likely to be amicable, there may be a financial agreement reached that is not formalised in to a Court Order. It is important to obtain legal advice at this critical time and we in the Battens Family Team are here to provide that specialist advise throughout the process.