New legislation has been announced by the government to overhaul divorce law and remove the need for divorcing couples in England and Wales to assign blame.
This move towards ‘no-fault divorce’ will reduce family conflict and so is warmly welcomed by the family law team at Mooney Everett Solicitors in Ormskirk, Lancashire.
Angie Brown, family solicitor and experienced mediator said: ‘We are extremely happy to hear about the new divorce law reforms. Our family lawyers are all committed members of Resolution and firmly believe in resolving family law disputes by taking a positive and family focused approach.’
The current divorce laws in England and Wales, which are 50 years old, demand proof that a marriage has broken down irretrievably. It forces a spouse to provide sufficient evidence of ‘unreasonable behaviour’ or undertake years of separation, even in cases where a couple has made a mutual decision to part ways.
This can often exacerbate conflict between separating couples and can cause unnecessary stress and pain. It can be extremely damaging when children are involved, having a particular impact on the children’s emotional and mental wellbeing by undermining the relationship between their parents.
Proposals for changes to the law include:
- maintaining the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage as the sole ground for divorce;
- replacing the requirement to provide proof of irretrievable breakdown with a requirement to provide a statement;
- retaining the two-stage legal process currently referred to as decree nisi and decree absolute;
- creating the option of a joint application for divorce, alongside the existing option where only one party initiates the process;
- removing the ability to contest a divorce; and
- introducing a minimum timeframe of 6 months, from petition stage to the completion of the divorce (20 weeks from petition stage to decree nisi; 6 weeks from decree nisi to decree absolute).
‘We are glad to see that these reforms are starting to address many of the aspects which cause conflict in a changing family.’ says Angie.
The new legislation is expected to be introduced within the next few months. To read the official government press release, please click here.
At Mooney Everett Solicitors our expert team can offer advice and are trained to help resolve family law matters amicably. We can help you with all aspects of private family law, including:
- applying for a divorce;
- making arrangements for your children;
- making financial settlements;
- taking the collaborative approach to divorce and finances; and
- using mediation to aid amicable resolution.
This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please note that the law may have changed since the date this article was published. You should always take legal advice relating to your individual circumstances.