Divorce day – is it a myth?

There is a history of divorce day being the first working Monday back after the Christmas break, being today and we did used to see a pattern that there were a surge of enquiries on this first day back. This was often due to the New Year and those looking for a new start and not wanting to bring disruption to their families over the Christmas period.

But 2020 was a prime example of where there were no patterns or trends, so it is difficult to know what it is in store for the working day today. Many are saying that the so called ‘divorce day’ in 2022 will be delayed to April when we will see the introduction of no-fault divorce.

No-fault divorce

At present, there is one ground of divorce which is the irretrievable breakdown of marriage and this needs to be backed up using one of 5 of facts. 3 of those facts rely on the couple being separated for 2 years or more meaning if a couple wishes to divorce within 2 years of separating they have to blame the other party by either relying on adultery or unreasonable behaviour.

From April 2022, it will not be necessary to use one of the five facts, all that will be required is a simple statement confirming that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

Will no-fault make divorce too easy?

There is fear that with the introduction of no-fault divorce it will be too easy to get a divorce and people may have a knee-jerk reaction to apply for a divorce following an argument that they will later come to regret.

With no-fault divorce Judges will take the statement of irretrievable breakdown of marriage as conclusive evidence and on face value, there will be no need to provide any further proof that the incidents cited in the divorce petition occurred which some of the facts require at present.

The other party will also not have the opportunity to defend the divorce which they do have currently.

To relieve some fear about whether the divorce process will become too easy with no fault divorce, there will be a minimum time period of 20 weeks with a cooling off period of 6 weeks between the conditional order (formally Decree Nisi) and final order (formally Decree Absolute) so the parties can ensure they are definitely making the right decision.

If you would like some further advice on this subject matter, please do not hesitate to contact one of our family team on 0191 226 7878 or at www.sintons.co.uk.

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