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No-fault divorce has been approved

16 June 2020

Sharon McKie

The no-fault divorce bill has been backed in the Commons by a huge majority. This means that once fully approved, it will no longer be necessary to allege unreasonable behaviour or adultery in order to obtain a divorce. Instead, it will simply be based on the fact that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. The new bill also allows couple to jointly apply for a divorce where they both wish to separate. There will need to be a six month period before the divorce is finalised. It is hoped that the new procedure will make divorce less painful and allow separating couples to deal with the legal process in a more mutual way.


There are some concerns that the change could lead to an increase in the divorce rate. In Scotland, no-fault divorce after living apart for one year was introduced in 2006. After an initial increase in the number of divorces, it soon returned to usual levels. In 2015, just 6% of divorces were based on fault based grounds whereas it was 60% in England and Wales. The intention is to provide a more amicable solution for separating parties, leading to reduced conflict and allowing for more focus on other matters such as children and financial issues. It may still be some time before the procedure changes but it is welcome progress for many Family Lawyers and separating couples.


Taylor Bracewell Family team are here to help with any issues you are currently having in respect of your separation. Please call us on 01302 341414.


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