When the new ‘no-fault’ divorce rules were proposed there were fears that they would lead to a huge rise in cases.
Now, several months since their introduction, the first indications of their impact on divorces have been revealed.
According to the latest data from HM Courts & Tribunals Service, almost 13,000 applications were filed in April.
Of these, nearly a fifth were made jointly by couples, following changes in the rules that permitted joint applications for the first time.
Oddly enough, the number of applications in April after the new rules were enforced is similar to the number of divorces launched in March.
According to speculation from some family lawyers, this may be the result of couples already near agreement trying to get cases sorted and financial settlements underway before the rule change complicated matters for them.
However, when compared to previous years, there is an obvious jump in divorce applications. In February this year, 9,400 cases were filed, while in April 2021 only 8,700 applications were made.
“These figures reflect the ‘bulge’ we expected as the new law came into effect,” according to Law Society Vice President, Lubna Shuja.
“By not having to prove a fault-based fact against their ex-partner, separating couples and their children will not have to suffer unnecessary conflict and anxiety.”
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