By Kim Mapperson, Solicitor in the Family Team

No Fault Divorce

Divorce law will change from 6th April 2022 introducing a no fault divorce.  This means that a couple, when divorcing, will not need to apportion blame when issuing divorce proceedings. It is important to remember that although the divorce law is changing it is crucial that you still obtain financial advice in respect of the matrimonial assets and the implications of divorce.

At Onions & Davies solicitors we would recommend speaking to a family solicitor when considering starting divorce and financial matters to ensure that the circumstances and timings of your particular matter are considered when starting any negotiations.

Concerns over the new law

There are concerns that, as couples from April will be able to apply for a divorce jointly, this may result in some coercive and bullying behaviour from one party when negotiating a financial settlement.

If you are uncertain at any point in either the divorce or financial negotiations it is important that you consult a solicitor to ensure that a ‘fair’ settlement is reached and finalised at court.

When considering a financial settlement, it is important that all matrimonial assets are taken into consideration, these include but are not limited to pensions, property, income, savings. Financial matters can be settled by mutual agreement, with the assistance of a mediator or through court proceedings.

Whichever route you take will depend on your circumstances and regardless of that route it is important that you understand the timing of your divorce and finalising financial matters as there may be tax implications and implications which may affect pension benefits.

Longer wait

Under the new no fault divorce parties are required to wait a minimum of 20 weeks between the initial application and the time the court will make a Conditional Order (Decree Nisi).  This therefore means that even the most straightforward of divorces could take 6 months to be finalised and this will, of course, then have an effect on the timings of financial matters.

A financial agreement can be finalised alongside the new no fault divorce system and our family solicitors at Onions & Davies are experienced in handling financial matters.  Finalising divorce proceedings does not finalise financial matters automatically, and so these need to be resolved separately to ensure that financial matters are fully and finally resolved.

If you would like any further information in respect of financial matters or any other area of family law please do not hesitate to contact us on 01630 652405.