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No-Fault Divorce

On 6th April 2022, the new law on no-fault divorce will come into effect. The implementation of no-fault divorce brings about a significant change to the current divorce legislation – an area of law that hasn’t been altered in nearly 50 years.

What is the current divorce law?

Under the current divorce law, one spouse (the Petitioner) must issue Divorce Proceedings against the other by proving that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. As it stands, the Petitions must use one of the 5 below reasons:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • Separation for at least 2 years’ with consent
  • Separation for at least 5 years’ without consent
  • Unreasonable behaviour

What is no-fault divorce?

One of the main elements of the no-fault divorce law is to remove blame or fault from the divorce process. Couples will now be able to mutually cite ‘irretrievable breakdown’ as the reason for their divorce.  

Another element of this new law means that people will no longer need to worry about their partner contesting the divorce and forcing them to go to Court, thus saving considerable time, money and stress.

How will this change things?

The introduction of the no-fault divorce law has been long awaited by many solicitors across the country and will subsequently result in many changes to the divorce process, such as:

  • Changes to divorce terminology: The language used to stipulate the stages of divorce are to be updated:
  • ‘Decree Nisi’ will change to ‘Conditional Order’
  • ‘Decree Absolute’ will change to ‘Final Order’
  • The term ‘Petitioner’ (the individual submitting the application) will change to the ‘Applicant’

  • Timeframes: To eliminate concerns that the changes to the law will be a quicker option, a minimum timeframe of 20 weeks is to be introduced between the application and the Conditional Order.
  • It will no longer be possible to contest a divorce: Under the current system, when one person submits a divorce petition, their spouse can contest it. The new law will remove this option.

  • Couples can jointly apply for a divorce: Where the divorce is amicable, couples may jointly make an application without the requirement of having to place blame on the other party. 

Will this new law provide support for victims of domestic violence?

In the past, domestic abusers have taken advantage of the current divorce laws and contested applications for divorce, demonstrating their coercive and controlling behaviour. With no-fault divorce, an application cannot be contested which aims to benefit victims of domestic abuse.

How we can help

At Elliot Mather we have a dedicated Family Department who support the no-fault divorce legislation. We are committed to resolving all issues relating to your case, as swiftly and with as little confrontation as possible.  This is an approach that will help limit the damage to you and your family, emotionally and financially.

The level of help you would like from us is entirely up to you. For further information, please contact us.

Legal Aid

Our team take the time to understand the distressing circumstances our clients are in, however, the worry of legal costs can be an added pressure. If you are eligible, Legal Aid makes it possible for you to access legal services, funded by the government, if you do not have sufficient financial means.

Elliot Mather is an approved legal aid firm and will be able to advise you according to your particular circumstances.


Our Solicitors are able to provide expert advice across the country with a network of offices based in: Chesterfield, Nottingham, Mansfield, and Derby.

How to get in contact

Our team are on hand to help you and can assist wherever you are based. Please call us for a no-obligation, initial discussion on 0330 333 2613, or email and we will call or email you back.


Bethany Grisdale–Downs

Marketing Executive

Bethany joined Elliot Mather LLP as a Marketing Assistant in February 2020. She is now a Marketing Executive, predominantly based in our Chesterfield office, with the ability to provide marketing support across all of our offices.

She has a background of working as a Marketing Executive in the recruitment sector after graduating with a first class degree in Marketing, Communications and Advertising.

Bethany possesses in-depth knowledge and experience relating to a broad range of marketing functions, such as: marketing strategy, social media management, website content writing, analytics and SEO, ensuring that the Elliot Mather brand receives as much online exposure as possible.




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