A definite date has finally been set for the long-awaited introduction of the ‘no fault’ divorce bill.
The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill will come into force on 6 April 2022, at last allowing married couples to divorce without blaming each other.
It is a change much welcomed by our highly experienced family lawyers at Wards Solicitors, despite hopes it would become law earlier and by this autumn.
The delay to the expected introduction date is said to be due to IT changes that need to be made in advance to the court’s online systems.
It means couples will no longer have to blame each other when divorcing.
At the moment, couples who want to end their marriage must either live apart for at least two years or prove their relationship has irretrievably broken down by citing adultery or unreasonable behaviour.
Inevitably, this often means that the spouse asking for a divorce must blame the other for the breakdown of the marriage.
This, lawyers and other experts agree, frequently leads to acrimony, hostility and conflict with any children caught in the emotional crossfire often badly affected.
Although the new law will remove some delays in the initial stages of issuing a divorce, it won’t make divorce instant or dramatically quicker.
It introduces a new stipulation that couples must wait a minimum of 20 weeks from the date of the application for divorce to when the conditional order can be made.
Following this, there is then – as now – a further six weeks between conditional and final order (the old decree nisi and decree absolute) to allow time for reflection and to resolve any financial and children matters.
Our specialist team of family lawyers is committed to helping divorcing couples navigate separation with the least possible conflict, supporting them to resolve matters as constructively as possible and with the minimum impact on any children.
They are experienced in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), including mediation, collaboration and arbitration which can play a key role in reaching an amicable settlement.
Crucially, it can also avoid having to go to court which is usually not only expensive but time consuming and stressful too.
Wards Solicitors has seven family and divorce law legal specialists and 12 offices across Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset.
Click here to book an initial meeting.
We also have a range of fixed fee packages we can discuss with you at your consultation.