No fault divorce – a major change in Divorce Law

28 February 2022

No fault divorce – a major change in Divorce Law


For more information about how the no-fault divorce law will affect the way divorces will proceed, contact our Family & Relationships team today on 01284 767 766

In April 2022 the law on divorce is changing radically. At the moment, to get a divorce you must show that the marriage has irretrievably broken down by proving one of 5 facts:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • 2 Years separation with consent
  • 5 Years separation
  • Desertion


As of April, you’ll no longer have to prove one of these facts and either one of you can obtain a divorce by stating that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This is commonly referred to as a ‘no fault’ divorce.

As at present you won’t be able to start a divorce until you’ve been married for at least 1 year, but after that period either one of you can start proceedings and the other party won’t be able to defend the action. It will also be possible to make a joint application if you and your spouse are in agreement. All applications will be dealt with online via the Government’s portal-HMCTS.

Some of the terminology is changing too. There will no longer be a Decree Nisi or Decree Absolute. Instead, there will be a Conditional Order and a Final Order. The whole process will take approximately 6 months although if Financial Orders are being sought you might be best to wait until you have a Financial Order before applying for the Final Order. We will be able to advise you on this.


Should I wait until April or start proceedings now?

Whether it is best to wait for the change in law or start proceedings immediately will largely depend on the circumstances of the breakdown of the marriage. If you would be relying on unreasonable behaviour, for example, you might feel that a more amicable way forward would be to wait until April when no such allegations will be needed. However, if your spouse has committed adultery and you are agreed that the marriage has broken down there might be no advantage in waiting. We can help you find the best way forward.

No-fault divorce will be introduced in April, this could change the outcome of your divorce and be beneficial. To find out how, contact our Family & Relationships team today on 01284 767 766

Please note this article is provided for general information purposes only to clients and friends of Atkins Dellow LLP. It is not intended to impart legal advice on any matter. Specialist advice should be taken in relation to specific circumstances. Whilst we endeavour to ensure that the information in this article is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy, and Atkins Dellow LLP does not accept any liability for error or omission.

© Atkins Dellow LLP 2022

More Insights

A Good Divorce?

A Good Divorce?

SHAREFor more information on how to best to accomplish having a ‘Good Divorce’, get in touch with our Family & Relationships team today on 01284 767766.Each year Resolution, a national family law association committed to promoting amicable...

read more

We’re here to help