No blame Divorce is here!

No blame Divorce is here!

You may have seen or heard on the news that 6th April 2022 sees the biggest change in divorce law, terminology and procedure for many decades.  Couples can now divorce without waiting for 2 or 5 years or instead having to criticise the other.  Whilst we have always worked to undertake the process as amicably as possible, these changes provide a welcome change of tone, hopefully then adopted by separating couples.

For more information do read the information on our divorce page.

Please bear in mind your Final Order (previously the Decree Absolute) still does not prevent further financial claims being made against you, your inheritances, business or even your estate.  To achieve a clean break parties must agree a separate document called a Consent Order which is sent to the court for approval.  Again, this is mostly done after disclosure and negotiation without attending court and we will always work constructively to look to achieve a fair financial settlement that protects clients.

Do call our office for more information on these important changes in the law.

Changes to the Divorce Law


The Divorce Law in England and Wales is about to undergo the biggest shake up in decades.  The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 comes into force from 6th April 2022.  The key reforms involved removing the requirement to provide evidence of conduct or separation.  This is replaced with a simple requirement to provide a statement of irretrievably breakdown of the marriage or civil partnership.

It also removes the ability to defend the decision to divorce or end the civil partnership.  The act allows joint applications but as far as we can see at present those may be well intended but rather unwieldy to manage.  We have always advised clients to undertake a divorce as amicably as possible in any event and this will continue.

The legal language is changing and the application will be called just that rather than a Petition.  The Petitioner becomes the Applicant and the Respondent stays the same.  Parties will no longer receive a Decree Nisi but instead a Conditional Order and Decree Absolute becomes Final Order.

The new law aims to remove the requirement to either delay matters two years or to assign blame.  It does not however simplify the process as such and there is a new minimum overall timeframe of six months between the process starting and finishing.

The key point is that your Final Order will still not resolve finances between you.  To protect yourself and your family you should still ensure you obtain a Financial Remedy Order, preferably by consent, but if necessary by attending court.  The vast majority of our cases do settle following a process of exchanging financial disclosure and negotiation.

Contact us for further advice on these big changes.

Mediation Week

This week is national Family Mediation Week.  Mediation can be a very helpful tool for separating parties, especially when supported by legal advice.  Our Sharon Davey-Holpin is a very experienced mediator and solicitor who can mediate on issues relating to finances or children.  Our website has more information.  Please do feel free to have a read and to contact us for an appointment.  There is also excellent further information on mediation and all family law issues on the Resolution website.  We are longstanding members  of Resolution, the professional body for specialist family lawyers, whose code commits members to support clients resolve matters as constructively as possible.

New Year: Fresh Start

Reporters love to refer ominously to “Divorce day” in January, the somewhat mythical idea that people rush to divorce after one too many arguments over the dried out turkey. The truth is most clients who instruct us have taken a long and careful think before they take that step. January does however motivate many to resolve outstanding issues. If you are either contemplating separation, or have been apart for some time and want to formalise matters, we are ready to help.

Despite Omicron, we remain safely open, though we are offering telephone appointments wherever appropriate and desired. We have found those work really well, saving you time and money and more convenient to fit into your busy day.

Call us on 01634 686822 to hear more about our initial fixed fee advice service.