No Fault Divorce to be Introduced

The government announced today that it will introduce legislation to implement a system of no fault divorce “as soon as parliamentary time allows”.

This follows the consultation period on the issue announced in the Autumn of 2018. Over 600 responses were received which were mainly in favour of the move to no fault divorce.

The anticipated change in the law means that couples that have not been separated for a minimum period of two years will no longer have to rely on adultery or unreasonable behaviour to obtain a divorce. Instead the requirement will be replaced with a requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown. There will be a minimum timeframe of six months from the petition to the final dissolution of the marriage.

It will no longer be possible for one party to contest a divorce. The two stage process of decree nisi and decree absolute will be retained.

Our Head of Family, Joanna Toloczko commented “The change in the law is good news for those who want to divorce without having to wait until they have been separated for a minimum period of two years. Even when the separation is amicable people normally want to achieve finality on property and financial issues as quickly as possible. In the past one of them would have had to allege adultery or unreasonable behaviour on the part of the other – to get the divorce proceedings underway. This often led to unnecessary animosity between them. That will no longer be the case. It is also good news that one party will no longer be able to block a divorce – after all, what is the point in fighting to remain married to someone who no longer wishes to remain to you?”

For further information and advice in connection with all divorce related matters please contact Joanna on 020 3861 5155 or