These long awaited reforms became law in June 2020 and are finally set to take effect from 06 April 2022
These reforms have been long awaited it is anticipated that the no fault divorce will make the process less acrimonious and more dignified for the many (approx. 100,000) couples who divorce each year.
Couples will now be able to petition for divorce jointly without having to apportion blame to one party to support the grounds for divorce. Under the reforms Irretrievable Breakdown becomes the sole reason and either party can state that the marriage is over and the other party will no longer be able to contest the divorce.
This differs from the current law where it is usual for one party to be ‘at fault’ to meet the requirements of the grounds for divorce which are adultery, unreasonable behaviour and desertion unless couples both agree to wait and apply after 2 years separation or 5 years if only one party agrees. At present the other party can contest the divorce.
The blame or fault requirement has often led to conflict causing the divorce to become acrimonious making an already difficult situation worse. Focussing on the fault can often make resolving the more important issues difficult.
The intention of the reforms is to remove this animosity and allow couples to concentrate on the issues surrounding children and finances. . It is particularly important to keep the divorce as amicable as possible where children are concerned, as the parents need to have a continuing relationship to deal with their future arrangements as separated parents.
Minimum timeframes will still apply to the process to give couples time to be certain that divorce is the right step.
Delay to the implementation of the new law has arisen due in part to developing the on line portal to deal with the changes.
For advice on all aspects of divorce and family law contact Spectrum Family Law on 01279 799598 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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