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Getting closer to a ‘no-fault’ divorce


As highlighted in our blog No-fault divorce to become law, the biggest change in divorce law in 50 years was announced in 2019, with legislation for ‘no-fault’ divorce to be introduced as soon as parliamentary time becomes available.

Family lawyers are watching with anticipation the progress of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill as it makes its way through parliament and had its second reading in the House of Commons in June 2020. 

What is the aim of the ‘no-fault’ divorce reform?

The aim is to make divorce proceedings ultimately, easier, fairer and without blame. Critics say that the current law is not fit for purpose because to begin the divorce process, one party has to blame the other and give examples of their unreasonable behaviour or adultery, unless they are prepared to wait two years and both agree to a divorce.

How would the ‘no-fault’ divorce legislation affect the process?

Starting the process by blaming the other party does nothing to alleviate the emotional distress during divorce and can be a destructive way in which to begin. Only in exceptional cases does the court need to consider one parties behaviour during the marriage when resolving financial division or arrangements for children, and for most part the behaviour is often irrelevant.

Those in the profession know that when going through the process the best way for a couple to separate is as conciliatory as possible, focusing on the future and developing a positive post-separation relationship, particularly if they have children. There are many options available and at Clarion we are active members of Resolution and familiar with all the possible solutions which allow a family to move forward in a way that works for them. This reform is most welcome and will ensure that the law aligns itself with the approach many families and separating couples want.  

We will update our blog when the ‘no-fault’ divorce looks set to be introduced.

In the meantime, if you have any queries about the new ‘no-fault’ divorce, or the divorce options currently available, please do not hesitate to contact our Family Team.

Disclaimer: Anything posted on this blog is for general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any general or specific matter. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information. Please contact the author of the blog if you would like to discuss the issues raised.