Happy Anniversary – No Fault Divorce

Today marks the first anniversary of the introduction of no-fault divorce. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act came into force on 6 April last year. It is worth reflecting on the impact this change has had on the legal landscape of divorce and relationships in the country.

According to James Thornton, Managing Partner at Paradigm Family Law, “No-fault divorce has brought the divorce process into the modern era. It acknowledges that relationships can break down, and it is nobody’s fault. This has removed the need for couples to exaggerate or assign blame, making the process quicker, less acrimonious and more amicable for all.”

Prior to the introduction of no-fault divorce in 2022, couples had to prove one of five reasons for the breakdown of their marriage: adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, separation for two years (with both parties’ consent) or separation for five years (without both parties’ consent). This often led to acrimonious and costly legal battles, with couples having to assign blame and fault in order to dissolve their marriage.

No-fault divorce was introduced to simplify and modernize the divorce process, allowing couples to divorce without having to prove fault or assign blame. Instead, they can simply state that their marriage has irretrievably broken down and can apply for a divorce together.

The Impact of Change

The impact of this change has been significant. Not only has it made the divorce process less confrontational and more amicable, but it has also reduced the amount of time and money spent on legal proceedings. Couples are now able to separate more quickly and easily, without having to engage in lengthy and costly court battles.

Moreover, no-fault divorce has also helped to reduce the stigma associated with divorce. By removing the need to assign blame, couples are able to separate without feeling as though they have failed or are being judged by society. This has helped to promote a more positive and understanding attitude towards divorce, which can only be a good thing.

Of course, there are still some concerns about the impact of no-fault divorce. Some worry that it may make it too easy for couples to separate, and that it may lead to an increase in divorce rates. However, it is important to remember that divorce is never an easy decision, and that couples who choose to separate do so for a variety of complex reasons. No-fault divorce simply makes the process less stressful and less damaging for everyone involved.

Don’t DIY Divorce

It is worth noting that while no-fault divorce has made the process of divorce less stressful and acrimonious, couples still need to take legal advice on the financial implications of divorce. It is important not to be tempted to completely carry out a DIY divorce without seeking legal advice from a qualified professional.

The financial aspects of a divorce, such as dividing assets and debts, can be complex and have long-lasting consequences. Seeking the advice of a qualified family law solicitor can help to ensure that both parties are treated fairly and that the financial settlement is equitable.

Whilst the Law Commission has begun work reviewing the laws governing finance on divorce – we will have to wait at least another two years before any potential changes come into force.

In conclusion, the introduction of no-fault divorce in England has been a positive step forward for the country’s legal system and society as a whole. By removing the need to assign blame and proving fault, couples are able to separate more amicably, more quickly, and more easily. This has helped to reduce the stigma associated with divorce and promote a more positive attitude towards relationships and separation. On the first anniversary of this important change, we can look back with pride on the progress that has been made, and look forward with hope to a brighter future for all.


Paradigm Family Law have a team of experienced and highly recommended divorce lawyers to help guide you through the process of divorce, just waiting to hear from you.

If you would like more details on this or want to discuss your family law matter, please do not hesitate to contact James, Frank, or Evelyn. Paradigm Family Law offers a free initial consultation with a top rated divorce lawyer and our fixed fee solutions cover financial proceedings from start to finish. You can call us on 01904 217225 or email us to [email protected].