No Fault Divorce

Your Trust Legal Advisors
No Fault Divorce
No Fault Divorce
A law firm committed to excellence.

Whether you're navigating a complex business transaction, resolving a family dispute, or seeking guidance on estate planning, you can trust DLS Solicitors to deliver sound legal advice and effective solutions. With a reputation built on integrity, professionalism, and results, we are here to advocate for your best interests every step of the way.

About Company
Divorce Solicitors
Property Solicitors

On April 6, 2022, no-fault divorce was introduced in England and Wales. This is part of a number of changes to UK divorce law brought in by the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, which were effective from this date.

No-fault divorce allows couples to end their marriage or civil partnership without having to blame each other for the breakdown of their relationship. It also removes the possibility of one spouse contesting the divorce, which can potentially leave the other spouse waiting years to be able to have an uncontested divorce. The term ‘no blame divorce’ is also sometimes used.

The changes to UK divorce law significantly alter and simplify the process of getting divorced in England and Wales, while also applying to civil partnership dissolution. If you are considering getting divorced, it is important to understand the changes that have been made, including no-fault divorce, and how they will impact your divorce.

Need advice on no fault divorces?

We will guide you through your options and discuss how we can assist you. Our divorce lawyers are known for being friendly, approachable, and well-informed.

We provide a comprehensive case assessment priced at £500 + VAT, which includes up to 2 hours of detailed discussion and review of your case by an experienced lawyer. You can learn more about this service here.

To schedule a complimentary 30-minute initial consultation with one of our divorce lawyers, please contact DLS Solicitors at 01625 460281 or complete our contact form.

When did no fault divorce begin in the UK?

The new no fault divorce law came into effect on April 6, 2022. This introduced the option of no fault divorce in England and Wales, with no impact on divorce laws in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Under this new law, couples are no longer required to cite one of the five facts for divorce (desertion, adultery, unreasonable behaviour, 2 years of separation with consent, or 5 years of separation without consent). Instead, they can simply declare that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

What is a no fault divorce?

The new divorce law streamlines the divorce process and eliminates the option to contest the divorce. The key changes include:

  1. Parties only need to submit a statement declaring irretrievable breakdown without assigning blame.
  2. Divorce applications can be filed jointly or by a sole applicant.
  3. Contesting the divorce is no longer an option.
  4. The terminology has been updated: Decree Nisi is now referred to as a conditional order and Decree Absolute as a final order.
  5. A minimum reflection period of 20 weeks is required from the time of filing the divorce application to the issuance of a conditional order.

How does a no fault divorce work?

Under the new no-fault divorce law, applying for a divorce is straightforward. You are required to submit an application that includes a ‘statement of irretrievable breakdown’, indicating that your relationship has reached a point where the marriage cannot be sustained.

You have the option to apply individually (sole application) or jointly with your spouse (joint application). Typically, divorce applications are now submitted online.

How to get a no fault divorce in the UK

The basic process for obtaining a no fault divorce in England and Wales involves the following steps:

  1. File an application for divorce, either individually or jointly with your spouse.
  2. The court issues the divorce application, formally initiating the divorce proceedings.
  3. If applying individually (sole application), the court will serve a copy of the application to the other spouse (respondent).
  4. The respondent must complete an Acknowledgement of Service form within 14 days to confirm receipt of the application (for sole applications only).
  5. After a minimum of 20 weeks from the court issuing the divorce application, you can apply for a conditional order, which signifies the court’s approval to proceed with the divorce.
  6. Six weeks after obtaining the conditional order, you can apply for a final order, officially terminating your marriage.

We are available to provide guidance on the no fault divorce process, including considerations related to finances and children. It is crucial to fully understand the implications of ending your marriage before initiating divorce proceedings. Please contact us at 01625 460281 or complete our online form for assistance.

Can a no fault divorce be contested?

In the vast majority of cases, contesting a divorce application initiated by your spouse is no longer feasible. However, there are rare circumstances where contesting the divorce may be possible, such as if the English and Welsh courts lack jurisdiction to handle the divorce proceedings.

If you believe you have valid grounds to contest a divorce application, or if your spouse is attempting to contest your divorce, we are available to provide guidance and assistance. Please contact us at 01625 460281 or complete our online form for further support.

How much does a no fault divorce cost in the UK?

A court fee of £593 is required for a divorce application, effective as of April 2023. In addition, you will need to account for solicitors’ fees to receive guidance on various matters, such as completing your application, managing financial division, and arranging child custody.

During your initial consultation, our team will gladly discuss our fees with you.

Why did we need no fault divorce?

The previous divorce process, which required one party to divorce the other and provide specific reasons for wanting the divorce, often led to unnecessary conflict and delays.

The old divorce law, dating back to the 1970s and in effect prior to April 6, 2022, did not align well with modern society and introduced complexities and disputes into the divorce process. For example, under the grounds of unreasonable behaviour, the petitioner had to detail reasons why they no longer wished to remain married.

These reasons frequently upset or anger the other party, leading to disputes and potential delays in the divorce proceedings, as seen in the case of Mrs. Tina Owens, who was denied a divorce by the courts when her husband contested the claims of unreasonable behaviour.

The old system also required parents going through divorce to focus on the faults of their partner, making it challenging to transition to focusing on co-parenting and being good parents.

The introduction of no-fault divorce eliminates the need to assign blame, potentially reducing the emotional distress associated with divorce, particularly for children. While this legal change does not solve all challenges, it is expected to decrease conflict and facilitate healthier co-parenting dynamics post-divorce.

How a solicitor can help with a no fault divorce

The introduction of no fault divorce law hasn’t significantly altered the role of divorce lawyers. They continue to play a crucial role in various aspects, including:

  1. Financial Advice: Providing guidance on how assets should be divided during divorce proceedings, such as handling the family home, pension distributions, savings, investments, and determining maintenance payments.
  2. Document Preparation: Drafting legal documents like consent orders to formalize financial agreements between parties and ensure their enforceability.
  3. Negotiation Support: Advising on entitlements and assisting in negotiations. If parties cannot reach an agreement, lawyers advise on whether to initiate court proceedings and represent clients throughout the legal process.
  4. Order Implementation: Overseeing the implementation of court orders, whether reached through consent or determined by the court.
  5. Child Custody: Supporting parents in resolving disputes over child arrangements and preparing cases for court presentation if necessary.

While this list is not exhaustive, it highlights that divorce lawyers’ roles extend beyond the divorce itself, encompassing broader legal aspects of relationship breakdowns.

How long does a no fault divorce take?

Since April 6, 2022, you can apply for divorce under the new no fault law. The process for a no fault divorce is as follows:

  1. Submitting a single or joint application for a divorce order.
  2. Approximately 20 weeks later, provided the applicant(s) still wish to proceed, the court will issue the conditional order.
  3. Approximately 6 weeks after the conditional order, the final order will be granted.

Overall, a no fault divorce typically takes around 7 to 10 months to complete.

We're here to help

Although no fault divorce aims to reduce tension during divorce proceedings, the process can still be very stressful with important considerations to address.

Our team is dedicated to guiding you through this process and ensuring that your divorce meets your needs and those of your loved ones. If you require advice on any aspect of no fault divorce law, we are here to assist you.

From the start to finish we were made to feel welcome every time and we had an appointment with Danielle Shawcross and her team. Whatever points we didn't understand the team did their utmost efforts to help us.
Barry Hadfield

Working with you towards a positive conclusion.

Feel free to get in touch with us any convenient way

Looking for expert legal advice and assistance? Don't hesitate! Contact DLS Solicitors today for professional and reliable legal services tailored to your needs. Whether you're facing a complex legal issue or seeking guidance on personal matters, our experienced team is here to help.

Postal Address

14 George Street, Alderley Edge, Cheshire, SK9 7EJ

General Enquiries

[email protected]

Business Phone

01625 460281

Would you like us to contact you?