9th April 2019
After years of campaigning, media attention and a recent 12 week public consultation it has been announced this morning that the ‘no fault’ divorce has been approved by Government and will be introduced ‘as soon as parliamentary time allows’.
This news brings family law into the 21st century and will be welcomed by many separating couples who may now have a chance to separate faster and with dignity.
Under the current rules, in order to obtain a divorce in England and Wales, one party needs to prove adultery, unreasonable behaviour or desertion. Otherwise, the couple need to have been separated, living apart for at least two years (if the other spouse is willing to consent to a divorce) or five years or more (no consent required) – meaning some couples are forced to stay legally married for many years after the relationship has broken down.
This fuels the ‘blame game’ at the start of the separation procedure and can be damaging to relationships throughout, it can make for acrimonious or hostile proceedings and can be particularly tough for any children involved in a divorce.
This will now be scrapped, allowing couples to divorce in a much more civil manner. Thousands of marriages break-down each year through no fault of any one particular party. Many simply grow apart, want different things or fall out of love and the new rules mean that couples can go their separate ways without a bitter end to what, on the whole, may have been a positive relationship.
The change in divorce law is welcomed by the Family Law Team at Lamb Brooks, who champion the use of non-confrontational separation methods such as Mediation and the Collaborative Method – allowing couples to firm up their arrangements round the table, without the need to attend court.
Rob Parker, Associate Solicitor and Head of the Family Department commented on the divorce overhaul:
“This is a welcome change of legislation that both family law professionals and individual clients have been campaigning for. These badly-needed reforms are about ending the blame-game. When brought into law, divorcing couples will no longer have to go through the tortuous exercise of having to find reasons to blame the other for the end of their marriage. This in turn will minimise any acrimony, and make it much easier for them to concentrate on what is really important: finding new ways to co-parent their children and ironing out a sustainable financial settlement”.
The ‘no fault’ divorce will benefit so many who wish to remain respectful to their ex-partner and work together to continue to raise children.
For further information please do not hesitate to contact our friendly family team on 01256 844 888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.
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