Divorce Day: The Law is Changing!

Published by Newman University on

Robot holding broken heart
Divorce law as we know it is changing! 6th April 2022 or ‘Divorce Day’ as it has been commonly termed recently, is nearly upon us. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 brings about major changes for divorce law in England and Wales however, these key changes do not come into force until the key date of 6th April 2022.

Currently The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 is the leading piece of legislation for divorce law. Some elements of divorce law will remain the same such as the ground for divorce being the irretrievable breakdown of marriage and the bar on applications before one year of marriage.

However, elements such as the ‘five facts’ of which one must be used to prove breakdown of marriage are abolished by the new legislation. At the moment a person applying for a divorce must either have been separated from their spouse for two years and have consent of their spouse to the divorce or, wait five years unless they opt to use one of the ‘fault’ based facts. These are currently adultery and intolerability and unreasonable behaviour.

Historically, this has led to proceedings becoming inflamed unnecessarily as the applying spouse is required to place some blame upon their spouse. Following growing pressure for reform, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 removes the requirement to use one of the facts and instead, simply requires a statement by the applicant or applicants that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. This change also applies to dissolutions, for which previously one of four facts were required. Other positive changes include the ability for spouses to make a joint application if they wish to do so and changes to terminology.

These upcoming changes to divorce law in England and Wales mean that our family law module will be adapted to discuss the changes. At Newman University Birmingham, we keep informed of legal changes and ensure that our students get the best possible understanding of the law.

To find out more about our LLB (Hons) Law degree, please visit the course page.
– Jenny Watkins (Lecturer in Law) –
Categories: Law

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