Divorce: Grounds for No Fault Divorce - from 6th April 2022

Divorce:  Grounds for No Fault Divorce - from 6th April 2022

What are the grounds for Divorce?

Divorce laws change to No-Fault Divorce on 6 April 2022, from that date the following applies:

Grounds for Divorce

In England and Wales there is only one ground for divorce and that is that a marriage has broken down irretrievably. 

The Applicant in the divorce is required to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown of marriage.

  • If you do not agree with the divorce, there is no longer any ability to defend the decision to divorce.

  • The Application for divorce can be made jointly by both parties and will be referred to as Applicant 1 and Applicant 2.

How do I get a divorce?

To begin divorce proceedings the Applicant makes an application to the court. The court then sends a copy of this to the other spouse (the respondent) who must acknowledge receipt of it.

If it is a joint application for divorce, both parties will receive the issued application from the Court and will need to acknowledge it.

What is involved in getting a divorce?

The divorce is a two-stage process. The Conditional Order (what was the Decree Nisi) can only be applied for 20 weeks (minimum period) after the start of the proceedings. The Final Order can be applied for 6 weeks after the Conditional Order. This timeframe is to provide a period of reflection for the parties.


How long does it take to get divorced?

The quickest timeframe from issuing the application for divorce and final order is 26 weeks. It is likely to take longer than this due to Court waiting times to process documents and also if there are delays in the parties doing what they need to do.

Couples sometimes consider drawing up a separation agreement as security prior to divorce. When you are separated, you are still legally married to your spouse, you need to get a divorce to fully dissolve the marriage.

See also:  Civil Partnerships including Dissolution of Civil Partnerships


Separation Agreements

What is a Separation Agreement?

A separation agreement is a document that can be drafted and agreed by both parties setting out that both parties have decided to separate, but do not meet any of the criteria to divorce immediately, or the couple have chosen not to divorce at this time.

Why would I need a separation agreement?

  • The cost of a separation agreement depends on how much work is involved.

  • If you have already reached an agreement together, making this official is relatively simple.

  • On the other hand, if there are aspects of the proposed agreement that either party is unsure about there will need to be some negotiation to reach a fair deal for both. 

Beware – these are not legally binding

If you are looking to obtain a ‘clean-break’ from each other and sort financial matters, a separation agreement, whilst they can be shown in Court as what parties intended, it is not legally binding to stop any future financial claims.


How Can Lawson-West Help You?

The firm provides caring and supportive legal advice to families with matters ranging from pre-nuptials, divorces (including ex-pat divorces in foreign jurisdictions), separation, child care, parents and grandparents rights.

How to Contact Us

If you do need to talk through your personal relationship circumstances with someone who's completely independent and unbiased, please do talk to us. We're here to help and advise you and help you through the personal problems you face. You can rely on our experience, expertise and emotional support to put you on the right course of action, a path that's totally right for you.

Get in touch today. We want to help.

With offices in Leicester and Market Harborough you can arrange an initial meeting with us to find out how we can help you through your Divorce or Separation.

Call 0116 212 1000  for our Leicester Office or 01858 445 480 for our Market Harborough Office. Whichever office you call, someone will be available to assist you. 

Useful links:

Downloadable resource: 20 Common Misconceptions about Family Breakdown 

Divorce and Separation

The Group Hug

Latest Divorce Statistics