As we all anticipated, and even some feared, the number of divorce petitions increased in April this year when the law removed the need for blame. Many would have been waiting for this, given it had been forecast for years but never quite made it to Parliament. However, it has proved beyond doubt, as we always thought, that people wanted to separate in a dignified way which promoted their ongoing relationship as parents when children were involved. We had always known that relationships don't break down because of the unreasonable behaviour of just one spouse. Sometimes, we just fall out of love, our spouse has changed, or we realise we simply don't want the same things anymore.
Sadly, the Ministry of Justice are still ill-equipped to cope with these numbers and although the statutory in-built delay of 20 weeks between the issue and the first decree is helpful for reflection, it is still taking far too long to complete the process. We can only hope as everyone gets used to the online portal and the volume of cases, that the whole process becomes more efficient and less painful in a different way!
There were 33,566 divorce applications in April to June, with the majority under the new no-fault divorce legislation and from sole applicants, according to data from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).