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No Fault Divorce Solicitors

Deciding to divorce from your spouse can be a difficult decision to make, particularly where you have been together for a significant amount of time and/or you have children together.

With the introduction of ‘no fault’ divorce from 6 April 2022, the actual process of getting divorced should be simpler and less stressful. This is because there will no longer be any need to give reasons for why your marriage has broken down (which can cause tension between a separating couple) and it will no longer be possible for someone to oppose a divorce started by their spouse.

While this should make divorce easier in many ways, there are still many important aspects to consider during divorce. These include where children will live, the division of assets and many other issues which can take a toll on your mental and physical health. To reduce stress and ensure that matters are efficiently handled, it is always recommended to seek legal guidance.

Our solicitors have decades of combined experience assisting clients in initiating divorce proceedings, having assisted in a variety of situations, from amicable divorces to those that are more contentious and complex. We can help the process to go ahead as quickly and smoothly as possible, making sure every stage is completed promptly and correctly.

Where issues occur with child arrangements and financial settlements, our divorce solicitors are on hand to lend their specialist skills, whether through alternative dispute resolution or court litigation. Our team have a strong track record for success and will work tireless to help you get divorced on the right terms for you and your loved ones.

How we can help with no fault divorce

Our no fault divorce solicitors can provide expert and pragmatic advice and guidance for matters including:

  • Drafting and submitting divorce petitions
  • Responding to divorce petitions
  • Negotiating financial settlements
  • Negotiating child arrangements
  • Child Arrangement Orders
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), including private negotiation, mediation and arbitration

Consult our no fault divorce solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

For clear, expert no fault divorce advice, please contact a member of our family law team for a no obligation discussion:

For more information in respect of our services, see our family services.

No fault divorce FAQs

What is no fault divorce?

As of 6 April 2022, UK divorce law has changed under the terms of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020. What this means is that key parts of the divorce rules that were set out under The Matrimonial Cause Act 1973 no longer apply when divorcing.

Previously, separating couples had to prove the irretrievable breakdown of their marriage by using one of the five facts in order to be granted a divorce. These five facts were:

  1. Adultery
  2. Unreasonable behaviour
  3. Desertion
  4. Separation for at least 2 years (if both spouses agreed to the divorce)
  5. Separation for at least 5 years (if one spouse opposed the divorce)

The first three of these five facts required the person making the divorce petition to place blame or fault on their spouse for the failure of the marriage, even where the divorce was an amicable decision between both parties.

The final two facts required the couple to wait years for a divorce, meaning they might still be married even if they were living entirely separate lives.

The new divorce law removes the need to assign blame or fault, as well as allowing separating couples to jointly apply for a divorce if desired.

When did no fault divorce come into effect?

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 was announced in February 2020, with the hope to bring it into effect in the Autumn of 2021. However, in June of 2021, the date for the law to take effect was pushed back until 2022, with the date of 6 April 2022 finally being set.

What are the no fault divorce rules?

The previous divorce rules had not been amended for 49 years, meaning many were completely overwritten. The new divorce rules set out in the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 are as follows:

  • The sole ground of divorce, irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, stays the same
  • The sole ground of divorce does not need to be proved through the five facts previously required
  • Separating spouses can make joint divorce petitions if they wish to
  • Amendment of divorce language, such as:
    • ‘Decree Nisi’ is now ‘Conditional Order’
    • ‘Decree Absolute’ is now ‘Final Order’
    • ‘Petitioner’ is now ‘Applicant’
  • There is now a 20 week minimum time frame between the start of proceedings to the ‘Conditional Order’ being granted
  • The six week period between the Conditional Order and Final Order being granted remains the same

Why did the previous divorce rules change?

The introduction of no fault divorce was due to many critics over the years expressing how the previous divorce rules were outdated and needed reform, especially since they hadn’t been updated for 49 years since the Matrimonial Cause Act 1973 was introduced as the law.

For this reason, the government introduced the new divorce guidelines under the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020.

Where in the past, blame and fault were seen as the only acceptable means for a divorce, times have changed considerably, and there are many divorces across England and Wales that are not fault based. For example, many separating couples come to the realisation that they have simply drifted apart and wish to separate amicably.

How long does no fault divorce take?

A common concern for many when pursuing divorce proceedings is the length of time that it will take to finalise.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to guarantee an exact time frame for each divorce as circumstances within the divorce, such as child arrangements and financial settlements, can take a significant amount of time, especially where spouses do not agree on certain issues.

The new rules also require specific time between each stage of the process, such as the 20 week time period between the beginning of proceedings to the Conditional Order and from the Conditional Order to the Final Order there is the further six weeks wait.

From taking these circumstances and time periods into consideration, we can advise that the average period of time a straightforward divorce is expected to take is around six months in total, but it could potentially be longer.

Our no fault divorce pricing

At Stephen Rimmer, we always ensure our prices are competitive. We can offer a wide range of flexible fees for our services, from fixed fees to hourly rates.

During your initial consultation with one of our divorce solicitors, we will closely listen to your situation, along with your desired outcome. From this, we can determine the level of legal expertise required and whether ongoing support will be needed throughout the process.

We are able to offer fixed fees for more straightforward matters. Providing fixed fee costs enables you to be fully aware of the price that you’ll pay from the outset. For other work that cannot be done on a fixed fee basis, we will provide an estimate of the expected time it will take and the hourly rates of the lawyers handling your case.

Speak to our no fault divorce solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

From our offices in Eastbourne and Hastings, our team advises clients all across East Sussex, including in Bexhill-on-Sea, Hailsham, Polegate, Battle, Pevensey, and St Leonards-on-Sea.

To find out how we can help with no fault divorce advice, please contact our expert family law team now:

How can we help you?

Call us today on 01323 644222 to get the specialist help you need.