Family Law

No Fault Divorce Announcement

12 APR 2019

No Fault Divorce Announcement

On 9th April 2019 Justice Secretary David Gauke announced the government’s intention to introduce new legislation to replace the requirement to allege that one person has behaved unreasonably or committed adultery during the marriage in order to obtain a divorce before the couple have been separated for 2 years. He said “I have listened to calls for reform and firmly believe now is the right time to end this unnecessary blame game for good.”

It has been accepted by the government that new legislation should be introduced to update the 50 year old divorce law which exacerbates conflict on divorce. The proposed changes include:

• Retaining the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage as the sole ground for divorce
• Replacing the requirement to provide evidence of a “fact” around behaviour or separation with a requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown
• Retaining the two stage legal process currently referred to as Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute
• Creating the option of a joint application for divorce, alongside retaining the option for one party to initiate the process
• Removing the ability to contest the divorce
• Introducing a minimum timeframe of 6 months from petition stage to final divorce (20 weeks from petition stage to Decree Nisi; 6 weeks from Decree Nisi to Decree Absolute)

Our specialist family lawyers support a change in the law and hope that the new legislation can be introduced and parliamentary time found in the near future. We welcome changes to the divorce process that will help people who are going through this difficult time in their life. Divorce is never easy but the law should be changed so that it can be achieved with as much humanity as possible.

To speak to our specialist family lawyers please contact Barbara Richardson or Nicola Codd by telephone on 01524 401010 or email

Barbara Richardson

Nicola Dodd

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