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No Fault Divorce

Added by Berlad Graham
March 14, 2022

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It is an exciting time for family solicitors as new legislation is coming out which will radically change the way we deal with divorce cases.

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 comes into force on 6th April 2022. It was considered necessary to change the way parties divorce from a fault-based system following the case of Owens v Owens in 2018 when Mrs Owens was refused a divorce on the fact of her husband’s unreasonable behaviour.

The new legislation will:

  • Change the terminology so we will no longer have a Petitioner but an Applicant. The first part of the divorce will be called a Conditional Order not Decree Nisi and the Decree Absolute will now be called a Final Order.
  • The system will be online through a dedicated portal and designed to be simple and straightforward.
  • Both or either party can make the application and they will not have to show “fault” just that the marriage has broken down.
  • There will be very limited scope to oppose the application.

It is hoped that by taking the conflict out of divorce proceedings the parties will be able to focus on any issues surrounding their finances or their children.

If you need any help following a breakdown of your relationship, do not hesitate to contact a member of our family team by calling on 0330 175 5655 or emailing at

We are members of the Law Society Family Law Advanced Accreditation scheme for our skills and experience in this area.