Official figures have confirmed divorce applications in England and Wales are the highest for a decade since the no-fault divorce law change was brought in April 2022. It’s the first time the impact of the law change has been seen, according to the quarterly family court statistics provided by the Ministry of Justice.
My Divorce Barrister’s senior Barrister Dr John Brown explains ’Since the divorce laws were overhauled six months ago, married couples have the option of starting no-fault divorce proceedings without the need to apportion blame for the marriage breakdown.’
There were 33,566 divorce applications in April to June 2022, with the majority under the new no-fault divorce legislation and from sole applicants, according to data from the Ministry of Justice. The vast majority (33,234) were made under the new law.
Dr John continues ‘In the old laws which incredibly lasted 50 years, unless adultery, unreasonable behaviour or desertion could be proven, the only way to divorce without the agreement of a spouse was to live separately for five years. It’s been a change long overdue; it’s time for the blame games to end, and more on for the good of mental health and family relationships.’
The new divorce law has also introduced a new minimum period of 20 weeks, for ‘meaningful’ reflection, between starting proceedings and applying for a conditional order.
Dr John concludes ’The new minimum period for meaningful reflection is also a step in the right direction, reducing the potential for conflict amongst divorcing couples and hopefully minimising anguish among dependants. The summer surge in divorce applications only confirms how vital the much needed reformation of the divorce laws in England and Wales was.’
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