As of April 2022, there has been an overwhelming change in UK divorce laws.
Now it is legal for somebody to apply for what is known as a no-fault divorce. This essentially removes the requirement to provide a reason for the separation and helps with areas such as when a couple simply falls out of love with each other. When you apply for a no-fault divorce, you will be required to state that your marriage has irretrievably broken down or that your civil partnership is no longer viable.
At Prentice Family Law, we welcome this change and our divorce solicitors in Weybridge are always happy to talk to new clients who want to undertake a no-fault divorce. We believe this change makes the entire process simpler, reduces stress and of course, ensures a more amicable separation, which is important if you have children.
However, reading about a no-fault divorce and approaching one are two very separate things and in this article, our divorce solicitors in Weybridge aim to answer questions that we have received from our previous clients.
How does no-fault divorce differ from previous options?
Under the previous law, to successfully obtain a divorce, there has to have been evidence of things like adultery, or inappropriate behaviour. Being separated for two years and living apart, or being separated for five years and being deserted have also been grounds for divorce. None of these is particularly friendly and overlooks the reality that in some instances, couples simply fall out of love. Our divorce solicitors in Weybridge will always aim to explain the appropriate changes in divorce law to you when you approach us for a divorce, so you will better understand the procedure.
Who can apply for a no-fault divorce?
Anybody who could obtain a regular divorce is entitled to a no-fault divorce in England or Wales. You don’t need to have British citizenship to obtain a no-fault divorce under British law and this can apply even if you were married in a separate country. However, you and your partner need to have been married for a minimum of 12 months before you can apply for this type of divorce, much the same as a regular divorce.
Are they longer than regular divorces?
In our experience, regular divorces can be lengthy, due to disagreements about finances, child access etc, and these are usually based on very hurt emotions. No-fault divorce aims to remove the hurt emotions aspect (or at least dial it back) so the process is estimated to take around 26 weeks.
Are they too easy to obtain?
A concern that many people have about no-fault divorce is that it will make the process easier. You still have to go through a fair amount of paperwork and seek legal advice to obtain one. And as is the way with regular divorces, mediation is often recommended so, no, we do not believe no-fault divorces are easier to obtain.
Will I need a solicitor?
Absolutely! Whenever you are going through any kind of separation or divorce, you will need the advice of a solicitor, and we recommend talking to our team. We have extensive experience with previous divorce law and are up to date with the current changes in no-fault divorces too.