No Fault Divorce Law in the UK

UK legislation to allow no-fault divorce for the first time, putting an end to the ‘blame game’ in divorce.

You and your husband of 40 years have decided to separate.  You are trying to keep matters as civil as possible as you have two children that you do not want to get caught up in the divorce.  A letter drops on your doormat one morning, inside the envelope is your husband’s Divorce Petition outlining all the things that you did during the marriage which he did not like and you become very angry and hurt.

What do you do to prepare?

  1. Prepare your own Divorce Petition stating the reasons why you did not like your husband’s behaviour during the marriage?
  2. Defend the Divorce?
  3. Call your husband and tell him to change his Divorce Petition?

None of these options are ideal and are only likely to raise tensions between you and your husband.

Surely there must be a better way?

At the moment if you and your husband or wife have not been separated for at least 2 years, the law requires the person applying for the divorce to prove their partner is at fault.  This is either through adultery, desertion or, most commonly, unreasonable behaviour.

Change was on the horizon when the Government confirmed in April 2019 that a new “no fault” divorce law would be coming as soon as parliamentary time allowed.  This would be the first time in history that people could apply for a divorce in England and Wales without accusing their partner of wrong-doing.

However, Boris Johnson’s recent Prorogation of Parliament means that the No-Fault Divorce Bill has been dropped.  It will need to be re-introduced to Parliament from scratch which could take considerable time.

What can you do in the meantime to make the divorce process easier?

You can take advice from somebody who can help you.  Instructing a solicitor to deal with the divorce can help keep matters civil.  Your solicitor can write the Divorce Petition in the least inflammatory way. A solicitor can also act as a middle-man/buffer between you and your ex, therefore reducing tension.

We will keep you updated on the developments of the No-Fault Divorce law but please contact the team if you have any questions or would like any advice.