6th April – are you ready?
The new No Fault Divorce goes live on 6th April 2022.
In anticipation of the No fault Divorce being implemented on 6th April, the Courts will not be accepting any applications from 4pm on 31st March.
This means parties wanting to start proceedings prior to 6th April will need to have lodged their petition by 4pm on 31st March. They will need to rely on the sole ground for divorce that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, which must be established by proving one or more of the five separation or fault-based facts.
The Courts will then reopen at 10am on 6th April. As of 6th April, parties will only be able to apply under the new No Fault Divorce law.
Rather than relying on the ‘five facts’, parties will simply need to provide a statement confirming that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. By allowing parties to submit joint applications, it is hoped that matters can be dealt with more amicably which in turn should mean parties can save on costs. Another significant change is that parties will no longer have the option to contest a divorce. This should also help to keep matters harmonious, which will help with reaching an agreement as to any children and financial arrangements.
For those parties who have been delaying submitting their application, having potentially being able to only rely on unreasonable behaviour, the removal of the ‘blame element’ on 6th April will be a welcomed change.