In mid-April, divorce filings in England and Wales increased by nearly twice as much just one week after the ‘no fault divorce’ act went into effect, the Daily Mail reports. Approximately 3,000 couples have submitted applications for ending their marriages since, under the new legislation, they are no longer required to “apportion blame.” The boom in requests was also confirmed by attorneys. Hannah Gumbrill-Ward of the family law team at law firm Winckworth Sherwood said, “It seems that some people were waiting for the introduction of the ‘no-fault divorce'” to break up.
It’s also called a quickie divorce, and from now on, in England and Wales, spouses can end their marriage in about six months, without even having to give reasons. In the event that one of them disagrees, challenging the decision sanctioned by the judges would be quite complex.
The new divorce law–which eliminates the need for one party to blame the other in order to obtain marriage dissolution–was opposed by some conservatives who feared it would lead to “an immediate increase in divorce rates.” The facts are showing that the concerns were well-founded. Gumbrill-Ward adds, “It will be interesting to see how these numbers evolve over the entire quarter and whether this initial flurry will wear off and stabilize.”
Waiting for the law
Probably many couples, intending to divorce, have waited a few months to take advantage of this new law, which is called the biggest reform of divorce laws in the last 50 years on the other side of the Channel. Unsurprisingly, statistics showed a 26% drop in divorce applications in the last quarter of 2021.