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Article
08 Jun 2021

Delay in no-fault divorce law is actually good news for couples planning to divorce

It has been announced that there will be a delay to no-fault divorces, which will come into effect on 6 April 2022, instead of this autumn. Boodle Hatfield, the leading private wealth law firm says this delay, ironically, is good news for couples who are planning to divorce.

Under the new law, it will take a statutory minimum of 26 weeks for divorces to be completed, compared to approximately 16 weeks (or less) at present for a well-executed divorce.

Emily Brand, Partner at Boodle Hatfield, says: “The delay in introducing this legislation means there is now a window for couples to execute their divorces relatively swiftly. This is a prime opportunity to avoid the extra 10 weeks which will be added to the divorce process from next April.”

“Couples should not be deprived of the option to have a quick divorce. In most cases, individuals simply want to settle their affairs and move on with their lives.”

“The decision to have a divorce is not something that will have been taken lightly, people will have considered this at great length. Enforcing a period for couples to ‘reflect on the decision to divorce’ is, quite frankly, patronising.”

“With longer divorce proceedings as a result of the no-fault divorce law, people wishing to remarry face delays. This could see more children being born out of wedlock, creating legal issues for example, fathers may get away with having fewer financial responsibilities in connection with their child or losing the automatic right to share parental responsibility.”

The no-fault divorce bill proposes a minimum period of 20 weeks between the initial petition for divorce and the “Decree Nisi” (first divorce order), followed by another six weeks before the “Decree Absolute” (final divorce order).

Comments from this article were also covered in The Times on 10th June 2021.