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This article was published on July 17th, 2019
If the reform bill presently before Parliament is approved, no-fault divorce will be introduced in England and Wales. This will remove the need for one party to attribute blame, and could potentially speed up the divorce process.
A divorce can be one of the most traumatic periods in a person’s life especially when the process can be a long and drawn-out exercise. The introduction of a no-fault divorce looks to remedy this situation, reducing family conflict in the process.
Under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, to obtain a divorce it must be shown that the marriage has irretrievably broken down by providing evidence that one of the following reasons apply:-
Unreasonable behaviour, Adultery and Desertion all require one party to place blame on the other. However, if you want to begin the divorce process without waiting for two years of separation to pass, the divorce has to be based on adultery or behaviour which can cause unnecessary resentment, especially if the couple have just agreed that the marriage is over without it really being the fault of either of them.
As a general rule, the two grounds that don’t involve blame take longer. If the spouses have been living apart for two years, and both want the divorce, they can begin divorce proceedings without any blame on either side. However, if both parties do not give consent, they could have to wait up to 5 years or more to begin the divorce process.
The notion of a no-fault divorce is not a new concept, with the initiative initially being introduced by the Family Law Act 1996, however many aspects of its provisions were not workable and so the legislation was later repealed.
Once the no-fault divorce reforms are implemented, a couple that wants to divorce, whether both parties agree to the divorce initially or whether only one of them wants the divorce, the court will only need to be notified that the marriage has broken down and cannot be retrieved and the 5 reasons outlined above will no longer be relevant.
The Law Society also outlines that the Government also plans to:
Hopefully, the legislation will go through but until that happens, the current divorce laws apply.
How can Thorneycroft Solicitors help with divorce proceedings?
Our Family Law solicitors know that a divorce can be a very testing time, even if the separation is amicable.
Our team is highly experienced and will handle divorce proceedings with care, empathy and efficiency in order to achieve the desired result.
We understand that separation is an extremely difficult time for a family. From issues regarding your children and how to approach sharing assets, divorce settlements can be very distressing.
As one of the North West’s leading specialist divorce solicitors, we will work with you and offer advice at every stage of the divorce process, keeping you updated, offering support and giving you peace of mind that your divorce is handled by a specialist in their field.
To arrange a consultation with one of our divorce solicitors, please call 0800 1979 345 or complete our online enquiry form by clicking here.