Forensic Accounting and Litigation Support update: Initial statistics from ‘no-fault divorce’ released

Wednesday 6 April 2022 saw the long-awaited blame-free process for no-fault divorce come into place in England and Wales.

The new law now allows couples to make a joint application where they have both decided that the relationship has broken down, potentially paving the way for a more amicable outcome.

Divorce applications have seen a 50% increase since the new laws were introduced back in April, with 3,000 no-fault requests being made in the first week of the new law. This initial spike in applications was expected, given many would have been waiting for the law to come into force.

Six months down the line, the first quarterly Ministry of Justice statistics have become available and show that there were 33,566 divorce applications in April to June 2022, with the majority (33,234) under the new no-fault divorce legislation. Despite the ability for joint applications, the vast majority were made by sole applicants. The total number of divorce applications was an increase of 22% from the same quarter in 2021 and represents the highest number of applications in a decade.

Ruth Dooley, Partner in Hazlewoods Forensic Accounting and Litigation Support team observed, “Although three months of data is still relatively early to assess whether divorce rates will continue to increase, the upward trend does appear to show that many couples were looking for a more dignified and mutually agreed way to end a relationship, rather than apportioning blame where there may not have been any.”

Hannah Griffin, Associate Partner in Hazlewoods Forensic Accounting and Litigation Support team added, “We see that an increasing number of individuals are seeking input from advisers with regards to the merits of pre-nuptial agreements and the re-arrangement of personal and marital assets, acknowledging that a pragmatic approach is required for modern relationships. The breakdown of a relationship is difficult no matter the circumstances; seeking professional advice on valuations of shares and businesses and the potential tax implications of realisation can assist both parties and the court in divorce proceedings.”

*Following the publication of this article, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced an extension to the period of time during which divorcing/separating couples can transfer assets freely through the ‘no gain, no loss’ provisions in his Autumn Statement 2022, which may have a further impact on statistics in the future. You can read more here

If you are in need of advice on settlements or relevant business arrangements, visit our dedicated webpage here or contact Ruth Dooley at or Hannah Griffin at

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