It has been one year since the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 (DDSA 2020), or more commonly known as ‘no fault divorce’ came into force on 6 April 2022.
The much needed reform removed the requirement to prove the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage by using one of five facts, and thus preventing the need for a ‘blame-game’ for couples wishing to divorce.
The good, the bad and the ugly
It’s no surprise that removing the need to cite one party’s adultery or details of their unreasonable behaviour has encouraged a healthier approach to separation, but the introduction of a joint divorce application has also seen those separating couples cooperate in order to bring their marriage to an amicable and ‘even-footed’ end.
Despite these positive developments, a number of issues have been highlighted.
Firstly, it’s important to remember that divorce and separation is not a decision to be taken lightly, and the new process shouldn’t be regarded as an ‘easy’ or ‘DIY’ divorce. Understanding the implications of divorce is pivotal in ensuring the process goes as smoothly as possible.
It is still crucial that parties obtain independent legal advice in order to understand their financial rights and the process for resolving financial disputes. Without obtaining legal advice as to how to manage their finances, parties risk putting themselves in an incredibly vulnerable financial situation.
It is anticipated that for those opting for a ‘quickie’ divorce, we are going to see a rise in applications to the Court for expensive and contested financial disputes years down the line.
So, where do we go from here?
Work has started on reviewing the law in relation to financial claims on divorce, however we are unlikely to see any change for a number of years. As such, the burden remains on the parties to carefully consider their financial rights and the options available to them.
Thankfully, help is available to shine a light on these complex issues, and guide the way to a more stable financial future following divorce.
For more information on divorce or to speak with one of our specialist family solicitors, please contact a member of the team here.