After a number of delays the long-awaited shake up of divorce legislation is coming to the UK next Spring. It was originally hoped that these changes would be in place by Autumn of 2021, however with the unprecedented pressures of covid-19 on Government, further delays have occurred.


The good news is as of 1 April 2022 couples will be able to obtain a divorce or sever their civil partnership without having to blame each other for the breakdown of the relationship.


Our Divorce & Family Solicitors at Lamb Brooks provide a refresher on what the changes entail and give guidance to those considering ending their marriage.


The No Fault Divorce Changes


Divorce laws have not been changed since 1973. Under the current divorce laws couples must rely on one of 5 factors in order to obtain a divorce. These are; unreasonable behaviour, adultery, desertion, 2 years of separation with consent from both sides or 5 years of separation without agreement from both sides.


These laws can make the divorce process more acrimonious. It can stir up unnecessary conflict between couples, making the process more stressful and emotional for everyone involved, including any children from the marriage.


Going forward, the new laws will allow couples to separate without apportioning blame on any one party. This can help couples to remain civil after the divorce which aids with co-parenting or maintaining a positive relationship after parting ways to deal with any other aspects following the separation.


The new laws will allow a joint application to be made for divorce, rather than divorce being initiated by just one person. This can also help divorce feel like a mutual, balanced, and fair process rather than one-sided.


The changes will also update some of the legal terms used in divorce proceedings.

  • ‘Decree Nisi’ will become a ‘Conditional Order’
  • ‘Decree Absolute’ will become a ‘Final Order’
  • ‘Petitioner’ will become ‘Applicant’

The modern language will help couples understand what stage of divorce they are at and hopefully humanise the process.


The changes to divorce law are coming in place to bring the process up to date with modern families and allow people to separate without twisting the truth on the true reasons for the marriage breakdown.


couples divorce going separate ways divorce lawyer

Is it The End?


If you are considering divorce and wish to separate without apportioning blame, then you may be wondering whether to wait until the new laws are in place or whether to start the process now.


This will depend on your personal situation and how quickly you wish to start the process.


The new process it not necessarily quicker as there is a 20 week ‘cooling off’ period between the initial application and the conditional order, with a further 6 weeks between the conditional order and the final order. However, it is considerably quicker than waiting for 2 years for a mutually agreed separation or 5 years of separation without consent.


There are other ways to remain civil when divorcing if this is important to you. By using the Collaborative Method, where both parties meet around a table to discuss specifics of the separation with their lawyers, couples can avoid the additional stress of a court room and remain in control of their divorce throughout.


The first step is to have an initial appointment with a divorce solicitor who can explain all your options and legal rights before you make a start to divorce.


Speak to Someone Today


For some initial advice on where to start, please call our friendly and experienced Family Law Team today on 01256 844888 or email enquiries@lambbrooks.com.


We offer a Fixed Fee appointment which provides you with up to an hour and a half with a Divorce Specialist followed by a letter of advice. This provides you with a strong foundation to begin your separation with all the information you need to make informed choices.


If you would like to make an enquiry outside of office hours, you can speak to our online chat assistant who can take your details and arrange for a solicitor to make contact.


Other Articles You May Be Interested in Reading:

As Lockdown Lifts Is It Time To Leave Your Marriage?

How To Have A Healthy Divorce

Early Divorce Advice & What To Expect


The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.