Everything you need to know about no-fault divorce to mark Good Divorce Week
- AuthorAngela Killa
Divorce is frequently ranked as one of the top five most stressful events in a person’s life.
With couples previously forced to legally blame the other for the breakup, added to the emotional strain, physical upheaval, and financial fallout - it can have a hugely detrimental impact on people’s lives.
However, one stressful aspect of divorces changed fundamentally this year, making the process just a little bit easier for separating spouses.
To mark Good Divorce Week this week, which aims to raise awareness of all the ways families can resolve their disputes out of court, Angela Killa, Senior Associate in the Family Team at JCP Solicitors, discusses everything you need to know about the no-fault divorce.
What is it?
Earlier this year the Divorce, Dissolution, and Separation Act (2020) was introduced removing the need for one partner to attribute blame to the other to be granted a divorce.
This enables couples to divorce without accusations of adultery, inappropriate behaviour or long periods of separation.
Instead, couples can now apply for a divorce jointly if they wish to and explain that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
What are the benefits to this?
The no-fault divorce is intended to make separation and divorce less acrimonious at an already challenging time.
Removing the blame culture traditionally associated with divorce means couples can agree to end the marriage and focus instead on separating amicably.
Things to consider
Despite the divorce process becoming more straightforward, couples will still need to make separate legal arrangements regarding arrangements for any children and maintenance payments and may wish to consult a specialist in family law regarding this.
They will also need to separately make arrangements regarding their finances and agree on how to split any joint assets or investments.
They may also wish to speak to a residential property specialist regarding their home, and also in some instances get commercial property and business advice in relation to any business interests. When going through a divorce it's always important to draw up or review your Will and obtain Lifetime Planning advice.
Do both people need to agree to no-fault divorce?
A no-fault divorce application can be made jointly or separately, as such one partner can choose to make the application by themselves, even if the other partner doesn’t.
Angela Killa from JCP Solicitors said: “The introduction of the no-fault divorce this year has been a game changer in the legal profession and for couples looking to separate.
“It has removed a great degree of stress from an already stressful time and allows couples to separate without any added acrimonious feelings.
“Ultimately the no-fault divorce is an effective step in the right direction to proving that divorce can be healthy, and can be a positive step to helping families move on with the next chapter of their lives without excessive conflict.
“We would always encourage couples seeking to file for a no-fault divorce to seek expert legal guidance to ensure the process is handled as professionally as possible. This will help to minimise any potential issues which may arise, and ensure the divorce is finalised quickly and efficiently.”