No-fault divorce will become law next month

No-fault divorce will become law on April 6, 2022 wrtes Ella Dodgson, family law attorney at Harrowells Solicitors

The biggest divorce law reform in fifty years will come into force on April 6, 2022 with the introduction of no-fault divorce. The new laws will mean that divorcing couples will no longer have to make allegations about their partner’s conduct in order to divorce. Currently, a spouse must make allegations of adultery or unreasonable behavior to obtain a divorce or wait a period of 2 or 5 years to start divorce proceedings.

The hailed reform will mean that separating couples will no longer need to provide reasons for the marriage breakdown. Instead, separating couples can file a joint or single petition for divorce confirming that their relationship has broken down irretrievably. This can only be heralded as a positive step that will eliminate blame and conflict.

The changes will allow couples to focus on important issues like children who are often the innocent victims of conflict-fueled divorces. Evidence suggests that acrimonious divorces can impact the health and well-being of children well into adulthood, putting greater strain on government-funded services.

People may fear that the reforms will allow unhappy couples to divorce more quickly instead of working on their marriage. This is not necessarily the case. The reforms will also introduce a 20-week cooling-off period from the start of the proceedings and the date the court confirms that the parties are entitled to a divorce. It is hoped that this period will provide separating couples with an opportunity for reflection and eventual reconciliation. Where this is not possible, this period will give separating couples time to plan and agree on practical arrangements for the future.

We believe that there are many benefits to maintaining a positive relationship with your ex-partner during divorce proceedings, which current divorce laws may hinder. We hope the new laws will end the bitter blame game and make it emotionally easier for couples to separate to achieve fair financial settlements and effective co-parenting.

Obviously, these reforms will be beneficial for all divorced couples as far as finances are concerned. It is important for divorced couples to ensure that they get specialist advice regarding finances during the divorce process, as this can be a complex area. For example, we have pointed out previously, the legal and commercial complexity of a farming business means that it is best to seek advice from family law attorneys familiar with farming divorces and the specific issues that can arise. .

A final point is that, based on our experience advising clients both inside and outside of agriculture, your divorce attorney’s ability to master issues and their ability to embrace the the most appropriate style of negotiation makes all the difference in reaching an effective agreement and outcome.

About the author