In the UK, divorce law is changing, and thanks to the global pandemic of 2020, it has taken a bit longer than initially planned!

Many people are familiar with what is involved in a standard divorce; a Decree Nisi, a petition, negotiation, etc. But in 2022, the UK government intends to legalise the use of what is known as a ‘no-fault’ divorce process, which will change a lot of the legal framework surrounding legal separations in the UK.

If you are interested in applying for a no-fault divorce, at Prentice Family Law, our divorce solicitors in Weybridge can help. We are up to date on all the latest legislation surrounding this area and will be able to start offering advice and this service to our clients starting on the 6th of April 2022.

If you are considering undertaking this process or simply want to know more, read on for some FAQs surrounding no-fault divorce in the UK answered by our divorce solicitors in Weybridge.

What is a no-fault divorce?

Unlike traditional divorce in the UK, which required certain criteria to be met for the couple to legally separate, a no-fault divorce bypasses the blame game and reduces conflict.

According to our divorce solicitors in Weybridge, this will shorten the entire process, allow couples to part on more amicable terms and reduce court fees that can be associated with divorces.

And while some people have concerns that this ‘easier’ divorce process will increase divorce statistics, we think it will reduce them!

What is involved in a no-fault divorce?

The process is fairly similar to a standard divorce, except both parties can apply for a no-fault divorce because the marriage has broken down.

There are some changes to the names of those all-important documents too; a Decree Nisi has been changed to a Conditional Order, a Decree Absolute will become a Final Order and a Petitioner will become an Applicant.

If your partner applies for a no-fault divorce, you cannot contest it.

Does it take longer than a standard divorce?

Under the current law, if your partner abandons you, you may be waiting for up to 2 or 5 years before you can divorce them.

While we cannot give an estimated time frame on how long a no-fault divorce will take (as none have happened yet!), we expect the entire process to take an estimated 4 to 6 months. And as you or your partner cannot contest the separation, there is unlikely to be a delay.

When can you apply for one?

You can apply for a no-fault divorce when you have been married for a minimum of 12 months.

You can legally separate before this (such as living apart or having separate bank accounts).

Can you refuse to acknowledge a no-fault divorce?

As mentioned earlier, you have no grounds to contest a no-fault divorce as the element of blame involved in traditional divorces has been removed.

If you do not wish to be divorced from your partner, then mediation may be needed from our team.