No Fault Divorce


The ‘No fault divorce’ laws have removed the need to identify the specific cause of divorce (the blame).

The need to follow due legal process has not been removed.

This is a legal procedure as approved by Tynwald and set out in the ‘Divorce, Dissolution and Separation (Isle of Man) Act 2020’ and the accompanying Rules of Court.

Parties are required by law to complete the relevant forms and follow the legal procedures when they enter the divorce process. It is your responsibility to ensure forms are completed correctly or they will be returned to you. Please note this may cause a delay to your application.

Role of Court Staff

The staff of the High Court are not legally qualified and are not able to provide legal advice. The staff are however committed to providing a professional and fair service to everyone and are able to provide some procedural guidance. In return we ask that customers please respect our staff.

We always recommend that if during ongoing divorce and/or any associated child or financial proceedings you are unsure of:

• which type of application you should make,
• the relevant Act/Rules pertaining to applications or
• of the contents of applications

you should seek your own independent legal advice.

Changes to divorce law

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 reforms the legal requirements and process for divorce. The act aims to reduce the potential for conflict amongst divorcing couples by:

  • removing the ability to make allegations about the conduct of a spouse
  • allowing couples to end their marriage jointly

The act also introduces a minimum period of 20 weeks between the start of proceedings and application for provisional order. This provides couples with a meaningful period of reflection and the chance to reconsider. Where divorce is inevitable, it enables couples to cooperate and plan for the future.

Under the new law it is no longer possible to contest a divorce, except on limited grounds including jurisdiction.

The new no fault divorce law and procedures came into force on 3 April 2023. All divorce applications made on or after this date will proceed under the new no fault divorce law and procedures.

Divorce proceedings issued by the Court on or before the 31st March 2023 will continue to progress under the old law and procedures until completed or until an application is made to withdraw it. If you withdraw your existing divorce application you can start again under the new, simpler, no fault divorce law and procedures.  The information about the procedures under the old law can be found here

Page last updated on 28 March 2024