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The NEW DIVORCE Law - How many people are aware of it?

Surprisingly, not as many as I would have thought. When clients attend our offices seeking advice about divorce, my first query is whether they are aware of the new divorce law. Lately, despite the new Divorce Law being effective since April 2022, a lot of people appear unaware of the change.

Following implementation of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, you are now able to dissolve your marriage with “no-fault” being cited, meaning that instead of having to attribute blame to one party, a couple can mutually cite ‘irretrievable breakdown’ as the sole ground for wanting to obtain a divorce.
This can be done in a joint statement or by an individual. Either or both spouse will be able to provide a statement saying it has broken down without having to provide evidence about bad behaviour.
The divorce application is made online, meaning the postal delays can be avoided. 

Once the application has been made, the person who applied (the “Applicant”) will have to wait until 20 weeks have elapsed from when the respondent is served with the application, to apply for a conditional order (previously known as a Decree Nisi).  This period will allow both parties to reflect on their decision to divorce. The applicant can then apply for a divorce or dissolution final order (previously known as Decree Absolute) .

Previously, in order to obtain a divorce a party would have to “blame” the other party but if they did not want to blame the other party, they would have to wait for either two or five years before applying for a divorce. That now no longer applies; blame does not need to be referred. It does therefore appear on the face of it to be easier but you do have to wait potentially longer than previously for it to be finalised. As there is now a 20 week holding period (“period of reflection”)  which was not in place previously, it can take potentially up to nine months to obtain a divorce under the present law.

If you have any questions in relation to the above article, or require any legal assistance on divorce or family law, please email

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About the author

Family Law Department

Our Family Law Department offers a wide range of services in relation to family law and child care law matters including divorce and separation, financial agreements, domestic violence protection, care proceedings, special guardianship and child arrangement orders.

TMJ Legal Services

TMJ Legal Services has been helping individuals and businesses since 1986. We offer a range of advice and services. 

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