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The start of a new year is often a time when married couples have reached breaking point over the festive period or have stayed together for ‘one last Christmas’ before deciding to go their separate ways in the new year. But filing for divorce in 2022 could be very different.

   

The biggest change in divorce law history is set to come into place on 6 April 2022. From this date a new no-fault divorce bill will become law after years of campaigning for change. This means that couples can divorce without having to cite blame on one party.

   

In this quick blog, our experienced Divorce Lawyers at Lamb Brooks explain what to expect if you are thinking about divorce this year.

   

What Are The Changes?

 

Under the current divorce laws (which are out-dated and without change in 50 years) couples can only be granted a divorce if they meet one of 5 factors. Allowed reasons for divorce include unreasonable behaviour, adultery, desertion, 2-year separation with consent or 5-year separation without consent. The new rules are expected to allow for ‘irretrievable breakdown’ to be listed as the reason for divorce.

   

Couples can also jointly apply for divorce, which means that one party is not filing for divorce first. Of course, this can still happen, but in instances where the marriage has come to an end mutually and amicably, it means couples can part ways more harmoniously.

   

As our Divorce Solicitors at Lamb Brooks are aware, many marriages break down through no fault of any one party. People fall out of love, want different things, grow apart or simply do not make each other happy any longer. Marital problems could be equally shared between both partners, and many find it difficult to separate when they need to apportion blame or stir up disputes.

   

From 6 April, the welcome change in legislation means that couples will no longer have to play the blame game or falsify their reasons for divorce to speed up the divorce process.

   

The new laws will also modernise some of the old fashioned and Latin language currently used, which can help people navigating divorce to understand what stage they are at.

   

Why Does It Matter?

 

For many people divorce is a painful and stressful period of their life. Much like ripping off a band aid, it can be less stressful if the process is quicker.

   

If your marriage has broken down, but your partner has not behaved ‘unreasonably’, committed adultery or deserted you, then you would be forced to stay married but separated for at least 2 years with their consent to the divorce or as long as 5 years if they were not agreeable to the divorce. This can be a long time to endure before being able to move on. It can also cause practical issues such as buying or selling property, taking out credit or organising your personal finances.

   

For others, having hurtful memories or pointing the blame in their divorce paperwork can be upsetting. For families with children, they might not wish for them to be privy to personal marital issues should they stumble across paperwork later in life or overhear conversations about divorce.

   

Finding a ‘reason’ can open up painful wounds, when often the marriage, overall, may have been a happy and loving relationship.

   

7 Top Tips for Starting a Divorce

 

Coming to the decision to get a divorce is not an easy one. Our Solicitors at Lamb Brooks are well versed in speaking to people at various stages of their separation and would offer the below tips to help get you prepared for divorce.

   

#1 Consider Your Options. There will be lots of decisions to make and different routes to consider going down as you start the divorce process. Make sure you understand your different options and take the route that is best for your family.

 

#2 Get Early Legal Advice. To fully understand your rights, options and to know where you stand, it is crucial to seek advice from an experienced family / divorce lawyer. This can put you in the driving seat and relieve your anxieties.

   

#3 Understand Your Finances. You will need to have a clear, accurate picture of your finances when going through a separation.  Put together a list and obtain statements from your pension provider, any investments you hold, mortgage, loans etc.

   

#4 Find Your Marriage Certificate. You will need this to lodge a divorce petition at court. If you cannot locate your original then a copy can be ordered from the gov.uk website.

   

#5 Think About Your Privacy. When starting the process of a divorce, it is sensible to consider changing your passwords on your email account to avoid your ex-partners seeing your personal correspondence with your solicitor. You might also wish to change passwords on your social media, phone or other devices that might be shared or synced.

   

#6 Look After Yourself. Going through a divorce can take its toll on your mental health. Remember the importance of self-care and use your personal support network. Getting a good sleep, fresh air, regular exercise, a balanced diet and avoiding drinking too much alcohol can help you think more clearly and manage your emotions.

   

#7 Put Your Children First. When it comes to negotiating and discussing plans with child contact arrangements it is vital to put your children’s best interests first. Be prepared to be flexible, reasonable and fair. If both parties consider the best outcome for their children, then the discussions can be much smoother.

   

Considering Divorce in 2022?

 

2022 is the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese zodiac. The tiger is the symbol for strength and braveness. If you are thinking about taking the brave step to leave your marriage and start divorce proceedings then please get in touch with Lamb Brooks today, who can help you find a way forward.

   

Our Family Team can be contacted on 01256 844888 or via email on enquiries@lambbrooks.com. Alternatively, our office are open between 08:30 – 17:30 for walk in enquiries or you can speak to our live chat assistant who is ready to take your details on our website 24 hours a day.

   

We understand how daunting or upsetting your first appointment with a divorce solicitor can be and will do our utmost to make you feel at ease. Meetings can be held face-to-face, over the telephone or via video conference using Teams or Zoom.

   

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you are looking for some guidance on divorce in 2022.

   

Other Articles You May Be Interested in Reading:

10 Common Mistakes People Make During Divorce

How to Have a Healthy Divorce

Talking to your Teenager About Divorce

   

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.