Mediation Blog

No-fault divorce pushed back to 6 April 2022

News broke last week that the introduction of the much anticipated reform of divorce law in England and Wales has been delayed.

Head of Thomas Mansfield’s Family team, Susi Gillespie, said:

“Whilst it is disappointing that the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 (‘no-fault divorce’) will not now come into effect until 6th April 2022 rather than Autumn 2021 as originally planned, it is welcomed that a specific date has now been set for this much overdue legislation.

We can now advise our clients with more certainty as to the commencement of this long-awaited divorce law reform. Resolution (a community of family justice professionals who work with families and individuals to resolves issues in a constructive way) has led the many years’ long and successful campaign for divorce law reform and meets regularly with the Ministry of Justice. It has received assurances that the government remains fully committed to bringing the Act into force.

As practitioners, we are at the forefront of the courts’ rollout of online digital reform, including online divorce proceedings. It is essential for our clients that robust and efficient IT systems are in place to accommodate this significant change in the divorce process.”

The long awaited new law will mean a husband or wife need only state that their marriage has irretrievably broken down. This means that there is no need to allege infidelity or other bad behaviour. Nor must they wait two or five years. If one half of a couple wants to get out of the marriage because they believe it has irretrievably broken down, they will be able to do that pretty quickly and without needing the cooperation of the other.

In a previous article, Susi summarised what no-fault divorce will mean for couples in marriages and civil partnerships: A step closer to no fault divorce