No-Fault Divorce is on its way

29 April 2021

By Brenda Spain, Head of Family Law team

Married couples seeking to divorce in England and Wales will benefit from the implementation of No-Fault Divorce from Autumn 2021.

The new law allows for divorce without either party attributing fault or a lengthy separation and should lead to a quicker and less acrimonious process.

Following the much-publicised case of Owen v Owen and the No-Fault Divorce campaign which followed we await the implementation of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020.

Principally, the element of blame in a divorce will be removed so there will be no requirement to show or prove any wrongdoing on either side, the only basis for the divorce will be that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. 

Either party will be able to apply, or the Court will accept joint applications if both parties agree on the way forward. 

As there is no blame, there will be no basis for a party to contest the divorce. The procedure will apply to Civil Partnerships and Judicial Separation and following the filing of the application there will be a minimum period of 20 weeks before a Conditional Order (previously Decree Nisi) is made. 

It was originally intended that this would have been implemented by the Summer of 2021 but, it is now likely that we will see the introduction of this new legislation in the Autumn of this year.

As members of the Resolution group of family lawyers, our team support legislation to introduce no-fault divorce and are confident that it will reduce conflict and allow couples to focus on important issues like children, property and finances.

If you a facing divorce or separation and would like a free initial consultation with a member of our expert Family Law team, please contact us on 01244 356 789 or email

Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.