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No Fault Divorce
Change is in the air/ End of the blame game?
From 6th April 2022 separating couples will not need to blame each other for the breakdown of their relationship. Currently, divorcing couples must be able to identify issues that have triggered the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage such as unreasonable behaviour or adultery. The idea of a divorce is difficult and emotional in itself, but by bringing personal issues into the process this can hinder reaching an amicable agreement and instead cause parties simply to criticise each other.
How will the no-fault divorce work?
With the new legislation, known as the no-fault divorce, separating couples will not be required to satisfy one of the grounds currently needed to prove their divorce. Instead,
- There will be a requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown
- As the element of fault will be removed it will not be possible to contest the divorce, unless on the grounds of the validity of the marriage.
- An option for a joint application will be introduced. Applicants will still be able to submit a sole application if their partner does not agree however parties can now amicably file an application together.
- Ensure the language is in plain English. Currently, once the Acknowledgement of Service has been filed, the Court will grant what is known as Decree Nisi. This will be changed to a Conditional Order and can only be applied for once 20 weeks have passed. The final stage of the divorce is currently known as Decree Absolute, which will now be referred to as the Final Order.
Why is No-Fault divorce a good idea?
It means that as solicitors we will be able to work with our clients to focus on positive separation instead of alleging blame, which will be particularly beneficial where children are involved. Children deal better with a separation when their parents are not in constant dispute. By adopting a non-confrontational, positive approach, agreements for the future can be achieved. Currently, it is all too common that the ‘blame game’ leads to increased conflict between the parties leading to the greater involvement of solicitors which ultimately increases the legal costs.
Do you need our advice?
Despite the introduction of this new legislation encouraging a positive approach, it unfortunately will not fully eliminate the risk of acrimony from divorce proceedings, as couples may still have disagreements about their finances and children. However, we are pleased with this positive step forward and are here to help you.
To fit around your busy schedule we are happy to meet in person, talk over the phone, by email or through video messaging. Both Emma Rothstein (email@example.com) and Elena Mitejko (firstname.lastname@example.org) will be happy to assist you with every step of your divorce.