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Article
01 Apr 2022

Number of divorce applications hit record low

The number of divorces has hit a record low* with 107,724 applications made in 2021 says Boodle Hatfield, a leading private wealth law firm.

Boodle Hatfield says that separating couples may have been holding off submitting paperwork ahead of the introduction of No Fault divorce, which comes into effect on April 6th.

The new law will enable couples to split without one person being assigned blame. Prior to this, unless couples had been separated for at least two years (and the other party consented), they needed to cite adultery, desertion or unreasonable behaviour to evidence that the marriage had irretrievably broken down.

Emily Brand, Partner at Boodle Hatfield says: “The low number of divorce applications suggest separating spouses may have been running down the clock until the law changes.

“Blaming one person on the breakdown of a marriage can create acrimony during what is an already extremely difficult time. The introduction of No Fault divorce may start the process on a less antagonistic footing.  However, the absence of the cathartic relief of a behaviour-based petition might lead the wounded party to start satellite proceedings in an attempt to seek justice elsewhere.  This may particularly be the case in the current environment where allegations of coercive and controlling behaviour are rocketing.”

*Lowest since 2003, earliest year for which data is available