Currently there is only one ground for divorce and that is that the marriage has 'broken down irretrievably'.
The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, came into effect on 6 April 2022, partly replacing the previous Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. Considered the biggest 'shake up' to divorce law in half a century, couples are now able to separate without apportioning blame, hence why it is referred to as 'no fault divorce', and is particularly to be welcomed by couples wishing to split amicably.
The previous divorce procedure required one spouse to initiate the process of filing for divorce and to prove their partner was at fault through adultery, desertion or unreasonable behaviour, with the only alternative being a period of separation.
The new Act allows married couples to issue divorce proceedings solely or jointly, without assigning blame, as only a statement of irretrievable breakdown will be needed.
The aim of the changes in the divorce law is to reduce conflict between couples who are either married or are in a civil partnership. The possibility of defending a divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership is removed. The Court, in dealing with an application, must take the statement that the marriage or civil partnership has broken down irretrievably at face value and will make a Divorce Order or Dissolution Order, and will not look into whether the irretrievable breakdown has been proven.
The Act also introduces a minimum period of six months from initiating divorce proceedings to when the final order can be granted.
The legal terminology used for divorce proceedings has also been updated. Petition will become 'Application', 'Petitioner' will become 'Applicant', 'Decree Nisi' will become 'Conditional Order' and 'Decree Absolute' will become 'Final Order'.
Our friendly family team understand that a relationship breakdown can be a stressful and difficult process. We take time to understand the issues our clients face with sensitivity and use our extensive expertise to achieve the best outcome for couples and their families without unnecessary conflict.
We are often asked if people can get a divorce without going to court. Many clients, understandably do not want to see costs escalate. You can watch the film below to find out more.
There are very clear circumstances in which your marriage can be annulled but you must meet the criteria. You can watch the film below to find out more.
Our legal teams have a genuine passion for what they do. Their specialist knowledge is an absolute given and they take pride in working with clients to help them achieve the results they seek in their professional and personal lives.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us.
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