No-Fault Divorce and the DDSA 2020
No-Fault Divorce represents a huge change to divorce law in England and Wales. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 (DDSA 2020) comes into effect on 6 April 2022.
From that date onwards couples going through divorce will no longer have to make allegations about conduct, adultery or wait until they have been separated for at least two years.
The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act
DDSA 2022 simply requires one party (or both on a joint basis) to provide a statement that their relationship has irretrievably broken down, known as “no fault divorce”.
There will be no option to defend the divorce. There are slight changes in terminology and the (current) petitioner becomes the “applicant”. A decree nisi is known as a “conditional order” and a decree absolute is known as “a final divorce order”.
In some cases applicants may start a joint application but find they are unable to continue amicably. In those circumstances the joint applicant wishing to proceed as a sole applicant, must give 14 days notice to the other party of their intention to seek a conditional order to be made into a final order.
How Long Will Divorce Take?
DDSA 2020 sets a timetable so that, once an application has been issued, there will be a minimum 20 week period from the date of the application to the making of a conditional order of divorce. This gives the parties time to reflect and to resolve arrangements over children and finance. There is also a minimum six week period after the grant of a conditional order before the final divorce order.
Any application for the cost of a non disputed (standard) divorce will need to be made on a separate form known as D11.
Finally, the online portal will not accept new applications from 4pm on 31 March 2022 until the new system arrives on 6 April 2022.
*Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.** Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*