In August 2018, we discussed the question ‘Is it time to end the blame game’ which had been raised by the government divorce reform proposals. New proposed legislation to permit ‘no fault divorce’ suggest the answer is yes.
The laws surrounding Divorce in England and Wales are to be overhauled to allow couples whose marriage has irretrievably broken down to divorce without attributing blame to one party or the other and without living separately for a minimum of two years.
Under current laws, attributing blame and responding to allegations often creates a feeling of anger and resentment between parties, which can unfortunately spill over into negotiations around financial matters and more worryingly child arrangements. These feelings can remain long after the divorce process has been concluded and therefore impact upon the separating spouses, their children, their family and friends.
The significant change in law is likely to facilitate more amicable divorce arrangements and help alleviate animosity and conflict between the parties, therefore delivering long term benefits. This change will likely support more fluid communication between former spouses during the process and into the future, resulting in a more positive outcome for all involved.
In addition to removing the element of blame from divorce, the new legislation will remove the ability for one party to contest a divorce. This will prevent abusive partners from exerting control over the other.
If this new procedure is being used, then there must be a minimum period of six months between petition to decree absolute.
Regarding this change, Nicholas Clough, Family Law solicitor commented:
“This step change in the divorce process does not affect the importance or consideration given to divorce by the parties involved, but rather makes the process more focused on achieving a solution on separation in an amicable and positive manner.
The period of separation and divorce is without doubt an extremely challenging and emotional time for all those involved. This change will hopefully make the negotiations involved a more collaborative and considered process in which agreement can be reached together in a considered manner, where blame is not central to the process”.
If you would like to speak to a Family Solicitor regarding separation and divorce, please contact Nicholas Clough on 07538 385956 or by email to Nicholas.Clough@psg-law.co.uk . We can arrange a meeting at our Altrincham office or at a location convenient to you.