It has been announced today by ministers that the long-awaited Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 will come into force on 6 April 2022. Significantly, this means that couples can file for a ‘no-fault divorce,’ so it will be possible to divorce without apportioning blame to one party, or waiting for two years of separation. It is hoped by family law practitioners that this will make divorces more civilised and less acrimonious.

Although much later than the original deadline of Autumn 2021, the delayed date will allow sufficient time to implement IT changes on the online HM Courts & Tribunals Service portal. During the pandemic, online divorce applications have been processed much more quickly than the traditional process. However, family solicitors have experienced many technical difficulties with the system so it is important that changes are implemented fully and properly.

The Act will also bring changes to divorce terminology to make it easier to understand.  The ‘petitioner’ will become the ‘applicant,’ ‘Decree Nisi’ will become ‘a conditional order’ and ‘decree absolute’ will become ‘final order.’

If you would like to make a free enquiry about how these changes may affect you if you are looking to divorce, please contact us on 0845 658 6639 or email us at info@blanchardslaw.co.uk for an early response.