No Blame Divorce Comes Into Effect 6 April 2022 - Ludlow Lane Skip to content

No Blame Divorce Comes Into Effect 6 April 2022

Much needed changes to the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act are coming into effect on 6 April 2022.

At the moment, for a divorce to go through, one of the following five criteria need to be met:

• Adultery

• Unreasonable behavior

• Separation for 2 years with consent

• Desertion for 2 years

• Separation for 5 years

I’m sure you would agree that the procedure of proving or going through any one of these prolongs and increases the painfulness of an already agonising process.


Over the last few decades, life has changed considerably and we believe the change to this law will bring great relief to many.

The amendment does away with having to put the blame on anyone. All that will be required is for one party to state that there was an “irretrievable breakdown”. This will prevent having to stir up painful issues, present or past.

This change is also especially helpful when the couple have come to a mutual and peaceful agreement that they have grown apart or are no longer in love, which is one of the most common reasons for divorce.

Let’s see what other changes have come into effect.


Currently, only one person can apply for the divorce and the other responds. This can make it seem like the party that is making the application is in control of the proceedings. Once again, with couples that are on amicable terms and have come to a mutual decision, this can create unnecessary ill feelings.

With both parties being able to make the application. it brings balance to the situation.


Although for some this can make the process a bit longer, a cooling off period can help give some space and time to the couple to sort various other matters out between them and individually.

A minimum of 20 weeks from the start of divorce proceedings towhen the ‘Conditional Order’ (previously known as ‘Decree Nisi’) can be applied for.


Under the new legislation, divorce proceedings cannot be contested any longer. This will make a huge difference when one party is not in agreement with the divorce and will help to avoidunnecessarily costly and emotionally charged legal action.

It also prevents people from being trapped in an unhappy marriage waiting for the 5 year separation rule to come to an end. 

The no-fault divorce law will allow challenges to the divorce proceedings only under limited circumstances. But these cannot be related to the disintegration of the marriage. Examples of this would be when the validity of the marriage is in question or if there is another procedural non-compliance.


Updating of certain terms that are regularly used will be a welcome change. This will help those involved to feel less overwhelmed by all the new information in an emotional time such as this.

The changes will be:

• ‘Conditional Order’ in place of ‘Decree Nisi’

• ‘Applicant’ in place of ‘Petitioner’

• ‘Application’ in place of ‘Divorce Petition’

• ‘Divorce Order’ in place of ‘Decree Absolute’


Some were hoping for these changes to come into effect sooner, but there were no doubt quite a few factors to consider – one being the changes that will need to be made to the online divorce portals. The seeming delay has also given practitioners time to familiarise themselves with the new law before it came into effect.

If you need any advice or assistance navigating the divorce process with these new changes, please get in touch with us and we would be happy to guide you through it.

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