Q&A What are the pros and cons of the new no-fault divorce?

Q:      My husband and I are both in our sixties. We have not lived together since Christmas, but neither of us are in new relationships. I left the marital home because we no longer had anything in common and I wanted a life I could enjoy without him criticising me for living it. I was lucky enough to have a son who recognised we were both wasting our lives staying together, and who could afford to buy me a house. We have not considered divorce as neither of us wanted to start a mud-slinging match by blaming the other, but a friend has suggested we apply for this new no-fault divorce. What are the pros and cons?

A:       The main advantage of the new divorce rules is that it can reduce the conflict that previously often crept into even the most amicable marriage break-up because one party had to list the other’s ‘faults’ to justify the divorce application. The new rules also reduce the waiting time to complete the divorce process, as previously couples had to be separated for a minimum of two years if they both consented to the divorce, or five years if one of them did not consent. Under the new no-fault divorce rules, the whole process can take as little as 26 weeks to complete.

As it is now possible for a divorcing couple to submit one joint application and potentially use the same lawyer, there is a distinct financial advantage. However, there is still the matter of financial arrangements to resolve and for that it is advisable for each party to use a different lawyer. Once the Court has granted a Conditional Order (formerly Decree Nisi) it can make an order finalising financial arrangements. Failure to finalise financial arrangements in a court order at this time leaves the parties open to a financial claim in the future, long after the divorce has been finalised, leaving your income, capital, and pension positions vulnerable.

This question has been answered by Alison Peters, a Partner with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry or for an appointment visit www.ghplegal.com or contact one of our offices: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194 

Alison Peters

Alison Peters


A Partner in our Family and Matrimonial department in Oswestry