In what has been described as the biggest reform of divorce laws for 50 years, couples in England and Wales will not have to either separate for at least two years – increasing to five if one party does not consent – or allocate blame to legally end their marriage.
Under the new law, separating couples will no longer have to rely on the ‘facts’ to prove the ground for divorce – the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship. Instead, the new law will encourage a more constructive approach to separation, promoting reconciliation and reflection where possible but ultimately trusting the judgment of the couple involved.
Currently, you either have to wait two years or have proof that your partner was at fault in order to divorce also, one spouse must issue divorce proceedings against the other.
Couples will also be able to apply for divorce jointly from this week.
The government originally planned to introduce no-fault divorce in autumn 2021, but admitted in June 2021 that the target was too ambitious. The introduction of no-fault divorce has therefore been pushed back to April 2022.