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Do couples in England and Wales prefer the new no-fault divorce option?
Back in April a new no-fault divorce system arrived in England and Wales allowing couples to jointly apply for a divorce and reduce animosity in choosing who is to blame for a marriage breakdown.
Previously, 5 grounds for divorce were:
At the time the new joint application was hailed as, “the biggest reform of divorce laws for 50 years” (The Guardian)
And there was expected to be a surge in divorce applications like the one seen in Scotland when they introduced a similar system in 2006.
Recently, figures from the HM Courts and Tribunals Service show how much of an uptake of this new system there has been:
Out of 12,978 divorce applications, 2,771 were joint. So, around 1 in 5.
That number of new divorce applications is up from 6,764 in 2021.
So, it shows a spike in applications, but the number of joint applications isn’t as high a figure as some expected. In Scotland the number of fault-based divorced dropped considerably with their new divorce system, with only 6% opting for ‘adultery’ or ‘unreasonable behaviour’ as grounds.
Maybe it takes longer than a few months for the no-blame divorce option to become more widely known.
Written by Jason Connolly