“No fault” divorce – should I wait?

“No fault” divorce will become law in April 2022, this means you will no longer have to play the “blame game” to say your partner is at fault or live separately for two years if you’ve both agreed to divorce.  You will be able to make a joint application, keeping things amicable, with no blame being apportioned or concerns about your partner contesting the divorce.

No fault divorce has been long awaited and aims to make the divorce process easier.  However, if you are already considering divorce there is no need to delay as there are ways in which we can keep animosity out of the proceedings.  Many aspects of divorce will remain the same regardless of the method you choose, and arrangements still need to be made for:


When a marriage breaks down there needs to be a distribution of the matrimonial assets.

  • You can easily overlook a key asset – It’s still quite common for one partner to ‘run the finances’ in a marriage, leaving the other with limited knowledge of the assets they own beyond bricks and mortar, cars, etc. This makes it easy for one of you to overlook the full value of a private pension, particularly if you are not the pension holder, even though it could be worth more than your family home. Even with full disclosure of assets this is a potentially complex area requiring expert help.
  •  Your half of the money in a joint bank account is not safeguarded – this is because joint bank accounts simply give joint access to your funds. There is no requirement on the bank to restrict either account holder to only half the money in the account.


  • A maintenance order can be made against the higher earner to help with the other person living costs. The order could be for a set period of time, for life or until re-marriage.

Child maintenance

  • Regardless of where the child resides, both parents are responsible for the cost of raising a child until the age of 16 or older if in further education.  Maintenance can be arranged between parents although it is often arranged by the Child Maintenance Service – the Court will rarely get involved in disputes regarding child maintenance.

Arrangements for children

  • You have no automatic right of “access” to your children.  TV divorce dramas often include a tug-of-war between parents over controlling “access” to their children. This is as much a fiction as the rest of the script because, as parents, you have no such rights. Children have a right to spend time with their parents, providing it is safe, not the other way around.

The introduction of ‘no fault’ divorce will not make ending a marriage straightforward; there is still a process to be followed and it can often be a long, sometimes painful journey.  The emotional and financial problems that come with the ending of a relationship need to be handled by skilled practitioners.  At KBL, our Family team have many years’ experience in helping individuals in all sorts of different situations.

If you have any questions or would like to arrange an initial consultation please contact our family team: Amera Karim Nazib on Bolton 01204 527777 or Blackburn 01254 268790 or email  anazib@kbl.co.uk

We will listen, advise, and remain by your side until you have reached a final settlement, ready to rebuild your life.