The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, which will allow married couples to divorce without assigning blame, will come into force on 6th April 2022.
Originally expected this Autumn, the new date was announced on 07 June 2021 in the form of a response to a parliamentary question.
According to the family justice professionals network Resolution, the delay is reported to be “to allow time for the necessary IT changes to be made to HMCTS’s online divorce systems.”
Kim Fellowes, Silk Family Law co-founding partner and former Chair of Resolution’s Child Support Committee, which lobbied parliament on this issue, said:
“As family lawyers we welcome this long awaited legislation, which will reduce conflict during divorces and crucially will mean children aren’t forced to “choose sides”. Separated families have to work together for many years after the divorce has been finalised, particularly when children are young. Removing the “blame game” will enable parents to have a much better working relationship with each other moving forward.”
Nigel Shepherd, the former Chair of Resolution who spearheaded the call for No Fault Divorce over many years, said:
“Whilst any delay is disappointing, we do now have certainty over the introduction of this important reform, and will be able to advise clients accordingly. Our members’ experience of using online forms and processes has not been universally positive, and so it is essential that the IT is fit for purpose in order to ensure the new divorce process works the way it is intended. The delay will also allow practitioners to become acquainted with the new rules in good time before the Act comes into force.”
Resolution was founded in the 1980s by a group of family lawyers who believed that a non-confrontational approach to family law issues would produce better outcomes for separating families and their children. Accredited members sign up to a Code of Practice, committing to working with families in a constructive way that reduces conflict.
The Silk Family Law team are all specialist family lawyers and many hold additional Resolution accreditations, including Advanced Financial Provision and Private Children Law.
More information about “No Fault Divorce”
- Watch a video of Kim Fellowes explaining the case for the new ‘no fault divorce’ legislation
- Read this blog by Silk partner Harriet Reid explaining why she welcomes the ‘no fault divorce’ divorce law changes