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No More ‘Blame Game’

Posted on June 29th 2020

Currently, to start divorce proceedings, one spouse is required to make an application for divorce based on one of the following:

  1. Their spouse’s unreasonable behaviour;
  2. Their spouse’s adultery;
  3. Desertion;
  4. Two years separation and consent (couple must have lived apart for two years and both parties agree to the divorce); or
  5. Five years separation.


However, this month the Government has passed a Bill introducing ‘no fault’ divorces.

In comparison to the above, under the new system, one spouse, or both if they are in agreement, can make an application for divorce based solely on separation, by signing a statement confirming that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. It will no longer be a requirement for one spouse to divorce the other and spouses will not be required to list numerous allegations as evidence of the marriage breakdown. In addition, the Bill removes the possibility of the other party contesting the application.

The Bill introduces a minimum time frame of 20 weeks for a divorce to complete. This period of time is intended to be used by couples to reflect on their decision and attend mediation and/or counselling, if suitable.

The Government hope that this step will support couples to separate more amicably and in turn help to protect families and support them moving forward.

This is the first major change to divorce law in 50 years and is due to be implemented in Autumn 2021.

If you are considering starting divorce proceedings and would like advice from one of our specialist Family Solicitors, please do not hesitate in contacting us on 01244 312306 or by emailing

Call and speak to a lawyer on 01244 312306