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No-fault divorce: The long-awaited change

Robson & Co Solicitors



In June 2020 the new Divorce, Dissolution and Separation act was passed which will, in turn, remove the concept of fault. The highly publicised case in 2018 of Owens v Owens highlighted the importance of removing the concept of fault which caused a lengthy and expensive proceeding.

The act passed in June 2020 however, it is believed that the new law will not be implemented by the government until late 2021.

When the law is implemented the five facts of adultery, behaviour, 2 years’ separation, 2 years’ desertion and 5 years’ separation will be removed with a simple statement to confirm the irretrievably breakdown of the marriage.

The new law will also prevent the other party from contesting the divorce which will prevent the need for entrenched and costly proceedings if a party decides not to accept the relationship has broken down and removes the control. There will also be a welcomed option of a joint divorce application which corresponds to the principles we abide by with Leap and Resolution in working reasonably, sensibly and amicably. This will allow both parties to make an application is acceptance together with less acrimony as neither is at blame in the application.

For many years the courts have held onto the use of Latin and old English. However, the new law will remove the use of ‘Decrees’ for divorce orders simply calling them what everyone can understand them as just ‘orders’ a conditional order and a final order.

The rules will apply to divorce and civil partnership.

These are long awaited changes which will benefit all parties involved in removing the allegations of blame and fault from applications and allow concentration to remain on resolving the financial and child aspects amicably.

If you require any advice in respect of your family matters such as divorce, dissolution of civil partnership or separation then please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer directly at or call her on 01303 233 529. Alternatively, please call our offices at either Hythe or Ashford on 01303 264 581 or, make an enquiry via our website.

If you would like an appointment by telephone, face to face or at an alternative location, Jennifer is happy to accommodate in whatever way she can to help you so please do not hesitate to ask.

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