No-fault divorce? Is it worth waiting for?
11th January 2021 | Alisha Francis
The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill introducing “no-fault” divorces in England and Wales gained Royal assent on 26 June 2020. This Bill comes as a relief to many family lawyers across the country, with the family law group Resolution being much of the driving force behind the campaign to bring the law in this area up to date.
The new no-fault divorce law is set to be implemented in autumn 2021.
This is a huge step forward in removing the “blame game” of divorce, ensuring that the legal process is less traumatic for everyone involved.
Here at Landons, we recognise that taking away the blame does not necessarily mean that more people will be encouraged to divorce, our view is that it will instead help those whose marriages are beyond hope of reconciliation to deal with the legal and practical aspects of divorce in an amicable way.
We also recognise that removing the blame should allow parents to avoid unnecessary conflict when dealing with the future arrangements for their children.
So, for people considering commencing divorce proceedings, is it worth waiting for the new law to come into effect?
If you are recently separated and you feel that your spouse is unlikely to consent to a divorce (provided that no adultery took place), under present law, your options are to wait until you have been separated for five years or to allege unreasonable behaviour. If you would rather not provide allegations of unreasonable behaviour but feel as though waiting for five years would be unbearable, waiting for a no-fault divorce could provide the best solution.
Alternatively, you wish to issue divorce proceedings based on unreasonable behaviour but you feel that your spouse is likely to take a strong objection to any of the allegations made, meaning that proceedings could become hostile, stressful and even more expensive. Waiting for a no-fault divorce could be a way to avoid making any allegations.
Our family team at Landons are active members of Resolution and would be happy to discuss any enquires surrounding divorce or separation with you. We are currently offering our free 30 minute consultations by pre-arranged appointment in our “COVID secure” office, by telephone or by Zoom video call. Please contact us on [email protected] or 01277 210021 to schedule an appointment.