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The Change in UK Divorce Law

With the introduction of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, which came into effect on 6th April 2022, desertion is no longer a fact in UK divorce law. The act introduced the no-fault divorce system, which means that couples seeking divorce no longer have to attribute blame or prove certain facts to dissolve their marriage.

The Change in UK Divorce Law

With the introduction of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, which came into effect on 6th April 2022, desertion is no longer a fact in UK divorce law. The act introduced the no-fault divorce system, which means that couples seeking divorce no longer have to attribute blame or prove certain facts to dissolve their marriage.

  • Can I still cite desertion in my divorce petition?

    No, desertion is no longer a fact that can be cited as a ground for divorce in your divorce application, as it is no longer relevant in UK divorce law proceedings.

  • How will the new law impact the divorce process?

    The introduction of no-fault divorce simplifies the process by removing the need to prove specific facts. It promotes a more amicable approach and reduces hostility between divorcing couples.

  • Can desertion be considered in financial settlements or child custody matters?

    While desertion is no longer a ground for divorce, the court may still consider the circumstances surrounding the separation when determining financial settlements or child custody matters.

  • What are the other grounds for divorce under the new law?

    The new law recognises only one ground for divorce, which is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

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Desertion: A Historical Ground for Divorce

Desertion, historically recognised as a ground for divorce, involved one spouse leaving the other without consent, without a justifiable reason, and with an intention to end the relationship. The deserted spouse could petition for divorce on the grounds of desertion after a specific period of separation, typically two years.

No-Fault Divorce Explained

Under the new law, a couple seeking divorce will only need to state that their marriage has irretrievably broken down. They are no longer required to prove any specific reasons such as desertion, adultery, or unreasonable behaviour.

The advent of no-fault divorce aimed to simplify the divorce process and reduce conflict by removing the need for spouses to assign blame. It shifted the focus from assigning fault to the more practical consideration of ending the marriage when the relationship is irreparable.

How can I get more information about getting a divorce in the UK?

If you would like to speak to someone about how to get a divorce, call our Client Care Team to speak with one of our specialist family lawyers. You will be offered a tailored approach from the UK’s largest team of divorce lawyers that really understand family law.

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