No Fault Divorce

On 6 April 2022, no fault divorce was introduced in England and Wales.

No fault divorce allows couples to bring to an end their marriage or civil partnership without having to blame “or fault” each other for the breakdown of their relationship and marriage. 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 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.

With the introduction of the no fault divorce, couples do not have to use one of the five facts for divorce which are:



Unreasonable behaviour

Two years separation with consent

Five years separation without consent

These five facts for divorce are now obsolete. The no fault divorce in essence simplifies the who process of divorce and removes the option to contest the divorce

What does the no fault divorce look like?

  • The parties need only produce a statement of irretrievable breakdown – no blame will be apportioned
  • An application for divorce can be made jointly or by a sole applicant
  • The option of contesting the divorce has been removed
  • Terminology has changed: Decree Nisi is now a Conditional Order and Decree Absolute a Final Order.
  • There is now a period of reflection – a minimum of 20 weeks – from when the application for divorce is made to when a Conditional Order can be made. This provides a period of reflection for the parties to consider their decision.