After decades of campaigning the UK is set to introduce a very overdue shake up of family law which will mean couples no longer need to establish a fault fact or separation fact in order to divorce.
It also means that couples can jointly make a statement of irretrievable breakdown in a marriage if they wish. This has been possible in other jurisdictions for some time but has never been permitted in England and Wales before.
The new law will also put a stop to one spouse contesting the divorce if the other spouse wants a divorce as a statement of irretrievable breakdown will be enough to satisfy the Court that the marriage is over.
The new law will also introduce further changes to include archaic terms being ousted in favour of more user friendly language. Decree Nisi is to be replaced with “Conditional Divorce Order” and Decree Absolute replaced with “Final Divorce Order”.
For many people divorce and separation is rarely easy and under the current law it is made even harder by one party having to place blame on the other or in the alternative waiting for a period of 2 (with other spouse’s consent) or 5 years (no consent required). It has also meant that those in abusive relationships have been dissuaded from considering the formal route of divorce for fear that their spouse may contest the proceedings. The changes to the law will put an end to the blame game and allow separating couples to focus on the key issues on separation, whether that be ensuring the best interests of their children are met or coming to an agreement in relation to their finances.
We at Taylor Walton solicitors, are able to talk you through the changes that are due to come in and advise you on the current law applying to divorce and separation. Waiting may not always result in the best outcome for you and so it is important that you seek advice at an early stage. If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this blog please contact Anna Patsalides, Solicitor or Olive McCarthy, Partner at Taylor Walton Solicitors for specialist preliminary advice.