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No fault divorce: ending the blame game

“But we’ve just grown apart”

For centuries, the divorce laws in England and Wales have been based on fault.

Divorcing couples find themselves being advised that unless they want to wait at least 2 years to start divorce proceedings (generally not financially feasible or advisable) one of them will have to blame the other.  As there is a common misconception that it is sufficient to state “irreconcilable differences” this can come as quite a shock.  It can also lead to an amicable relationship quickly turning sour.

Overhaul of the law – The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill

The existing laws have long been considered acrimonious, outdated, and unfit for the 21st century.  Why should two people who have simply fallen out of love have to explain why or decide whose behaviour was at fault?

After decades of campaigning by many family lawyers, this week Parliament finally passed a Bill to allow couples to apply for divorce jointly, and without the need to cite any fault.

Can I use the new law now?

Whilst the Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent imminently, the new procedure is unlikely to come into effect before Autumn 2021.  That does not help those couples separating now, as most cannot and should not wait for the new law.  But it does mean a revolutionising of the divorce process going forward. Ending the blame game will reduce conflict and allow parties to focus upon the most important issues in the divorce – such as the arrangements for the children and achieving financial security.

Benussi & Co would like to congratulate the work of Resolution – First for Family Lawyers in their tireless campaign for no fault divorce. 

Many of the Benussi & Co team are members of Resolution.  Contact the team on 0121 248 4001, info@benussilaw.co.uk

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