22 Jun 2020
The notion of no fault divorce has been in discussions for some time, with many taking the view that the current law, which requires either a period of separation, one party to have committed adultery or one party to set out allegations of the other’s ‘unreasonable behaviour’, represents a widely outdated system which is not fit for the modern day.
After much back and forth, no fault divorce was finally given the green light by the House of Commons on 17th June 2020 and is now in the final stages of drafting and approval.
It is believed that the new ‘no fault divorce’ will be implemented from Autumn 2021.
The short answer is no. There will still be a minimum timeframe from when the divorce is instigated until the divorce can be finalised and this looks set to be 6 months. This has been described as a ‘cooling off period’ for those who have started a divorce in the spur of the moment. In reality this is a similar timeframe to the current procedure in cases where the divorce is progressed at the earliest opportunity. There are many reasons why this is not always the case, predominantly due to negotiations to resolve financial matters.
Dealing with financial matters can take some time however given the importance of the final agreement reached, time spent dealing with the finances is essential – once an agreement has been finalised there is no going back.
Whilst some will take the view that waiting for no fault divorce to be implemented is the right way forward for them, most people need not wait. With over 12 months until the new law is implemented, it is very possible for your divorce and financial matters to be concluded long in advance of the new no fault system coming in to place. At Gard & Co we actively promote dealing with matters as amicably as possible even if using the current procedure as we know that it can be hard enough already.