A no-fault divorce edges closer now Parliament has voted it through

At long last Cunningtons’ family department can welcome the news that MPs have voted in favour of the latest stage of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill . This will, when passed, enable separated couples who have managed to maintain an amicable relationship to issue divorce proceedings on a ‘no-fault basis’. This will end the requirement for couples to place blame on the other party to obtain their decree absolute.

As we mentioned in our news post in January, this is a victory for us as family law solicitors and indeed for our many clients who aim to keep negotiations amicable and cost-efficient. It will not, as has been suggested, necessarily make the divorce process easier, but most certainly, less acrimonious. Couples will still require an irretrievable breakdown in their marriage – either one party can make a statement of irretrievable breakdown or they can do a joint statement. 

As members of Resolution, our Family Law team at Cunningtons abide by a Code of Practice with the aim of reducing conflict within the divorce process, prioritising the needs of the whole family, including any children of the family.

The existing system of ‘Fault Divorce’

The current proceedings encourage parties to lay blame upon the other, which then can set a precedent for the parties to continue in this way rather than seeking to resolve disputes constructively, thereby avoiding apportioning blame from the outset.

Once these changes have become law, divorce proceedings will no longer require evidence of unreasonable behaviour or adultery from one spouse, or for a couple to have to spend at least five years living apart – this change in divorce laws means that a marriage can simply break down as a couple can just stop getting on. Otherwise known as an irretrievable breakdown.

The benefits of a no-fault divorce

A no-fault divorce will ensure more families are able to come to long-lasting, considered and constructive agreements which benefit the families as a whole.

Unfortunately, there is still a minority resistance to the bill as shown by a small number of MPs voting against it. However, we are confident that the benefits of this legislation will assist separating couples in minimising conflict which will, in turn, improve outcomes for children.

This has been more than 30 years in the making and will at last benefit thousands of separating families each year in England and Wales.

Talk to our Family Law solicitors:

Family Law solicitors in Braintree

You can telephone our family department at Braintree Monday to Thursday between 9.00am until 4.00pm on 01376 567276 or if you are unable to talk or make contact during those times you can email jill.wiggins@cunningtons.co.uk.

Family Law solicitors in Chelmsford

Our Chelmsford family department can be contacted on 01245 295504 between 4.00pm until midnight Monday to Friday, or alternatively you can email jenny.lapwood@cunningtons.co.uk.

Family Law solicitors in Wickford

Our Wickford family law department can be contacted via telephone Monday to Friday between 9.30 and 2.30pm on 01268 739328 or alternatively you can email louise.paynter@cunningtons.co.uk.


2 thoughts on “No-fault divorce – MPs vote”

    1. The option of a No Fault Divorce is in addition to the option of divorcing based on other facts such as adultery or behaviour. Some people may still prefer to petition based on another fact. No Fault divorces are aimed at people who have separated amicably and do not wish to have to say anything negative about each other and do not wish to wait two years before divorcing.

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