8th June 2020
The much awaited ‘No Fault Divorce’ is expected to become law in the next few weeks as the reforms are voted on in Parliament today (Monday 8 June 2020).
This is a long-awaited and pressing piece of legislation intended to remove much of the acrimony traditionally associated with the divorce process.
Our specialist Family Law Team at Lamb Brooks will keep you updated as and when this process is available for couples looking for a more dignified way to separate.
For many years separating couples have been asking for a less confrontational way to divorce and family lawyers have been campaigning for divorce laws to be updated to reflect modern relationships.
Under current rules a divorce can only go ahead if one of five criteria are met. Three of those apportion fault or blame to one party, and the other two involve the couple being separated and living apart for years before they can file for divorce.
At the moment, you can legally divorce on the grounds of adultery, unreasonable behaviour or desertion. Otherwise, the couple need to have been separated and living apart for a minimum of two years (if both parties consent to a divorce) or for five years (without consent being required).
A No Fault Divorce will allow couples to end their marriages without needing to point the finger at one spouse or wait years to be allowed to formally separate. There will still be a legal process to follow and consideration will need to be given before starting the process.
Some have branded the No Fault Divorce a ‘Quickie’ divorce, which may be misleading. The process is made much quicker, as you no longer need to be separated for at least two years before filing. The lack of blame can help make discussions and negotiations happen faster and much more smoothly. However there is still a legal process to follow and there is an appropriate built-in cooling-off period to allow for a proper pause for reflection.
Every year, many couples decide to end their marriage mutually. Couples grow apart, are unhappy, fall out of love or want different things in life. Having to drag out the separation process or start playing the blame game can make divorce confrontational and stressful when it doesn’t need to be.
A No Fault Divorce will remove the ‘sting’ from the process. No longer will one party have to find reasons to blame the other for the marriage coming to an end.
Married couples with children may also want to explore the No Fault Divorce route to protect their children from the negative impact that a hostile divorce can have. A No Fault Divorce will also have a much less polarising effect on the separating couple, making it much easier for them to co-parent their children going forwards.
If you have been considering divorce or are already separated from your spouse and want to start the divorce process, then your first step is to speak to a divorce lawyer to understand your rights and options.
Your first appointment with a specialist divorce lawyer will give you all the tools you need to make an informed decision about ending your relationship. You will come away knowing where your stand in terms of finances, property and children and have all the information about the different routes you can take along with the expected costs and timeframes.
To speak to someone today, please call 01256 844888, email firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to our online chat assistant who is available on our website 24/7.
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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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