The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act is a landmark legislation that marks a significant shift in the legal approach to divorce in the United Kingdom. The Act came into effect on 6th April of last year and has removed the need for couples to assign blame for the breakdown of their marriage. This change in legislation has been welcomed across the legal industry, as it is seen as a more modern and progressive approach to divorce.
Before this Act was passed, one spouse had to assign blame to the other in order to obtain a divorce. The element of blame often led to animosity and bitterness between the parties involved, making an already difficult situation even more challenging. With the new Act, either or both parties can apply to the court for an order that the marriage has broken down irretrievably without attributing any fault to the other party.
Read our previous article: No Fault Divorce – What You Need To Know
Have No Fault Divorce Laws impacted divorce rates?
According to government statistics, 22% of the 89,123 divorce applications under the new law were made by joint parties. HM Courts & Tribunals Service received 3,000 divorce applications in the week following the introduction of reforms designed to make the separation process less acrimonious – a 50% rise on the weekly average. However, it is accepted that the application spike was likely down to couples waiting to take advantage of the no-fault provisions and a notable increase following the Covid-19 pandemic. It is also worth noting that the divorce rate in the United Kingdom is currently estimated at 42% but has been on a steady decline in recent years. This decrease can be attributed to several factors, including an increase in the number of couples choosing to cohabit instead of getting married.
Financial Settlements on Divorce
Recently, the Law Commission has turned its attention to the laws governing finance on divorce. Currently, financial settlements are dealt with in a separate and parallel process which can continue after the divorce is final. Finance on divorce is an area of family law that has long been a source of controversy and difficulty, as couples often struggle to agree on how to divide their assets and finances after a marriage has ended. The current legal framework for dealing with these issues is complex and can be challenging to navigate, which is why the Law Commission has decided to review it.
However, while this is undoubtedly a positive step forward for family law in England and Wales, it is important to note that it will likely be some time before any potential reforms are implemented. In fact, family lawyers will have to wait at least another two years before they see any substantial changes to the laws governing finance on divorce. This is because the Law Commission’s review is still ongoing, and it will take time for their recommendations to be considered and acted upon by the government.
How can we help?
Despite a seemingly more straightforward no-fault divorce process, the legal proceedings of ending a marriage or civil partnership can still be overwhelming, particularly considering the impact on finances and children. At Rose & Rose, our knowledgeable solicitors specialise in all aspects of family law. We provide legal guidance on divorce and relationship breakdown, financial settlements in divorce, dissolution of civil partnership, issues concerning children, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and foreign nationality family law.
For further advice on divorce and other aspects of family law, please get in touch with our Family Law team today by calling 0208 974 7490 , emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or clicking on a member of our team below.
This blog post is not intended to be taken as advice or acted upon. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our team of solicitors.