From April 6 2022, new divorce rules will take effect

From April 6 2022 - New divorce rules will take effect

New Divorce Rules / UK Divorce Law: From April 6, 2022, a new online divorce rules application service will be available. Couples must apply by March 31st, 2022, under the existing law, or wait for the reforms to take effect.

On April 6, this year, new divorce legislation will take effect. HM Courts & Tribunals Service will launch a new online service to meet this transition.

As of March 31, 2022, the previous service will be unavailable as we prepare for these changes.

Following public input, the new legislation expands the grounds for divorce in the United Kingdom. Adultery, desertion, or unreasonable behaviour will no longer be required as grounds for divorce under the new regulations.

“While we will always uphold the institution of marriage, it cannot be right that our out dated law creates or increases conflict between divorcing couples.” it cannot be right that our outmoded law produces or exacerbates friction between divorcing families.\”

Divorce laws have changed. What is the new divorce law?

The Divorce, Dissolution, and Separation Act 2020 significantly changes the legal procedures and divorce process. The Act seeks to mitigate the likelihood of disputes between divorced couples by

-eliminating the capacity to bring charges against a spouse\’s behaviour

-permitting spouses to dissolve their marriage jointly

Additionally, the Act establishes a minimum time limit of twenty weeks between proceedings and applying for a conditional order. This offers couples an opportunity for genuine thought and reconsideration. Where divorce is unavoidable, it enables spouses to collaborate and make future plans.

Except for limited reasons, including jurisdiction, it will no longer be feasible to oppose a divorce.

If you\’re divorcing and have begun your application

If you already have an application on the current digital service and wish to proceed, you must go into your account and submit it before 4 p.m. on March 31 2022.

Alternatively, you can wait until the debut of the new digital service (new divorce rules). If you still wish to seek a divorce, you may do so beginning on April 6, 2022.

If you\’ve begun completing a paper application form, you must ensure that the court receives it by 4 p.m. on March 31 2022. If you are mailing it, you must ensure that it reaches the court by that date.

If you haven\’t yet begun your divorce application

It can take time to gather the necessary paperwork for your application. Therefore, if you have not started developing an application, you may wish to wait until the new divorce law services become available on April 6 2022.

Significant dates

Whether you\’re a solicitor or filing for divorce on your own, keep the following in mind:

– Beginning March 31 2022, you will be unable to apply using the court\’s current paper or digital systems or to access a saved digital application that the court has not yet issued.

– from March 31, 2022, to April 5, 2022, the digital service will be closed to new applications.

The new divorce paper (new divorce rules) and digital services will be accessible beginning April 6, 2022.

Urgent applications received by post or email before 4 p.m. on April 5 and needing consideration after the deadlines specified above but before April 6 will continue to be accepted and processed as soon as practicable.

Additional data

Applications for Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute will be saved and made available on the service.

If you\’d like to learn more about how existing – or forthcoming – divorce laws may affect you, or if you\’re in need of practical, helpful counsel and support regarding divorce, please schedule an appointment with one of our family law professionals.