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A Nice Divorce? Yes Please!

Posted: 12-01-2021

The legal community have been campaigning for ‘No Fault Divorce for many years. The idea that a Divorce must be one person’s fault is out dated. We are all now committed to keeping divorce proceedings as amicable as possible through the widespread use of mediation and membership of Resolution, and yet this still keeps the previous adversarial system alive. 

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 was finally passed by Parliament in July 2020. The government is now looking into implementing it, but it looks like it will not come into force until Autumn 2021. 

This new law will replace the current system of divorce and the dissolution of civil partnerships: 

  1. At present an application for divorce must be based on one of five facts; unreasonable behaviour, adultery (not available for civil partnerships), 2-year separation, 5-year separation and desertion. Instead, there will soon simply be a statement that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.  
  2. Both parties will be able to make a joint application, rather than just one at present. 
  3. The ability to contest or defend a divorce will be scrapped. 
  4. The old fashioned and complicated language will also be scrapped and instead plain language will be used. Decree Nisi will become a conditional order, and Decree Absolute will become a final order. 

These changes are long awaited and very welcomed by all of the legal community.  The changes will help to reduce conflict between a couple, making the whole process less traumatic for the couple, the children and the wider family and friends. It will also enable couples to concentrate on reaching an agreement regarding the arrangements for the children, the property and the finances.  

At Sousa Law we are committed to an amicable approach to family law, all of our solicitors are members of Resolution. Catherine Sousa is also a qualified collaborative lawyer, family mediator and arbitrator (Children Scheme) 

Sousa Law are specialist Divorce Lawyers in Southampton. We offer free virtual initial consultations in all areas of family law. For further information or to book an appointment, please call our office on 02380 713060, or email


By Nicole Biggs



Family Lawyer Southampton, Family Solicitor Southampton, Divorce Lawyer Southampton, Divorce Solicitor Southampton