The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 will become law from 6 April 2022.
Under the legislation married couples will be able to divorce without having to cite blame.
Until 6 April 2022, only one spouse can apply for divorce, asserting blame with one of the five facts which are, behaviour, adultery, five years separation, 2 years separation with consent, or desertion.
This assertion of blame will soon be a relic of the past.
Couples will be able to apply for divorce jointly on an amicable basis. Instead of blame, couples will be able to state that the “marriage has broken down irretrievably”.
As asserting fault will be no more, there will be no need to contest an application. Currently, the party blamed often contests the divorce as they do not agree with the fact relied on which asserts blame.
From 6 April 2022 an application cannot be contested.
Additionally, the legal language is to be removed. A Decree Nisi (the first stage of divorce) will be called a Conditional Order. A Decree Absolute (the final stage of divorce) will be called a Final Order.
These changes will also apply to the dissolution of civil partnerships.