Divorce – The New Law

The long-awaited changes to our fault-based divorce system, introducing true no-fault divorce, takes effect today, 6th April 2022.

Under the new regime, a statement (made by either or both parties) that the marriage has irretrievably broken down will be made and cannot be challenged. There will then be a minimum period of 26 weeks from the date the application is made to the court until the marriage is finally dissolved.
In addition to changing the basis for divorce, some of the terminology will change as well. Gone will be the terms “Decree Nisi” and “Decree Absolute”, to be replaced with “Conditional Divorce Order” and “Divorce Order”.

What will not change, of course, is the way in which disputed arrangements regarding children or finances, are resolved. Indeed, even where parties are agreed, it remains sensible for a consent order to be drawn up confirming the arrangements that they have agreed in relation to financial matters, as otherwise the financial claims that each have against the other will remain live, subject to certain exceptions, even after a Divorce Order has been made.
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