The wait for no fault divorce continues
The wait continues
The biggest reform of divorce law in 50 years will not begin this year as the family justice community had hoped. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 - more commonly known as no-fault divorce - is now expected to be implemented on 6 April 2022.
In a written response to a parliamentary question, courts minister Chris Philp MP said the initial deadline of autumn 2021 must be put back. He regretted the delay but stressed the importance of getting procedural rules right. Officials have also begun to identify, design and build the necessary amendments to court rules and to amend the new online digital divorce service.
The minister added that the extra time would be used to strengthen signposting to Family Mediation as a means to resolve arrangements for children and the division of assets.
Philp said: 'The Ministry of Justice is committed to ensuring that the amended digital service allows for a smooth transition from the existing service which has reformed the way divorce is administered in the courts and improved the service received by divorcing couples at a traumatic point in their lives.
Nigel Shepherd of Resolution has responded to the news
"The delay is a shame but we now know for sure that no fault divorce will be coming into force on 5 April 2022 and can advise our clients accordingly. We'll all agree that ensuring the IT is in place is essential. We've waited more than 50 years. A little longer is bearable !"