The government is preparing to implement the biggest shake-up of divorce law in half a century with ‘no fault’ divorce a real possibility at last.
The change, aimed at enabling couples to split up faster and with less acrimony and blame, will be introduced – says Justice Secretary David Gauke – as soon as parliament, currently rather preoccupied with Brexit, has time to consider the legislation.
Hostility and conflict
Mr Gauke commented: “Hostility and conflict between parents leave their mark on children and can damage their life chances.
“While we will always uphold the institution of marriage, it cannot be right that our outdated law creates or increases conflict between divorcing couples. So I have listened to calls for reform and firmly believe now is the right time to end this unnecessary blame game for good.”
Currently, couples in England and Wales who want to bring their marriage to an end must demonstrate that their relationship has irretrievably broken down by citing unreasonable behaviour, adultery, desertion, separation of at least two years if both parties agree to the divorce and five years if one partner doesn’t.
Most of these reasons mean that the spouse asking for the divorce must blame the other for the breakdown of their marriage.
The key amendments include:
The changes have been welcomed by Resolution, an organisation of 6,500 family lawyers and other professionals in England and Wales who believe in a constructive, non-confrontational approach to family law matters. Wards Solicitors’ Family Law and Divorce team lawyers are all Resolution members and also back the government’s plans.
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For legal help and advice about divorce, please contact Wards Solicitors’ Family Law and Divorce team by phone or by calling into one of our 11 local offices.