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Divorce applications under new no-fault laws

Divorce under new no-fault laws

Divorce applications under new no-fault laws down 12% from last year

No fault divorce has now been around for nearly 2 years having come into being in April 2022 when the laws were changed to allow spouses or civil partners to being divorce/dissolution proceedings without the need to blame one another. As such, there is now over a year’s worth of data available to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) on how many applications are or have been issued under the new laws.

The MOJ has published the  latest Family Court Statistics, which show that in the period covering July to September 2023 there were 27,290 divorce applications made. This is down 12% from the same quarter in 2022 (which was the second quarter following the start of new divorce law). The stats also show that under the new law, applications took on average 28 weeks to reach conditional order and 38 weeks to final order. On average, joint applications were quicker than sole applications but the majority of applications (75%) came from sole applicants.

The number of sole applications is not that surprising given that divorce is an emotive time and whilst parties do not have to legally blame one another anymore to get a divorce, there are still many situations where one party is still coming to terms with the breakdown of the marriage and the other spouse’s actions in leaving.  Sole applications also arise more in the situation where one spouse or civil partner can qualify for a fee exemption or fee remission. Currently the divorce application fee is £593 but for a joint application, both parties have to qualify for a fee exemption based on their income and capital situation. If only one qualifies, they will not get a fee exemption on a joint application.

If you are considering divorce proceedings or being faced with them from your former partner, please contact our experienced family law team in Ipswich on 01473 213311, family law team in Felixstowe on 01394 834557 or our family law team in Colchester on 01206 584584 to discuss our initial consultation process, alternatively you can visit our website and click “Call Me Back” and a member of family law team at Kerseys Solicitors will be happy to contact you.

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