24 July 2019

‘No-Fault’ Divorce...

Lisa Boileau Partner & Head of Family

Moves to introduce ‘no-fault’ divorce across England and Wales have been widely welcomed as a way in which parting couples can reduce conflict and smooth the pathway for both themselves and any children involved.

It is now hoped by those who have campaigned for this change, that the Government will be able to accelerate this proposed new legislation with as few delays as possible. There are fears that continued Brexit negotiations will hold-up such proceedings, and there is a determination to keep the pressure on, in order to see a relevant Bill passed as soon as is practical.

Presently , as divorcing or divorced c ouples will be well aware, there is an ecessity to apportion blame on ones ide or the other – either that, or they must wait two years with the consent of both parties. If one side of the partnership does not agree, that wait can extend to five years in the absence of any other grounds of divorce being available.

It is important to note however, that the divorce itself is only a small aspect of the overall proceedings, and often the most straight-forward part – and this will remain the case.

It is the long-term financial future of both parties that can often be the more complex and important aspect – who gets what, for whom, when and how much, will determine how both sides can move forward.

And this is where expert advice really makes the difference. For example, the division of a pension pot and the financial implications of splitting any assets very often need extremely careful thought and negotiation – without such there can be horrendous consequences, especially if couples attempt to deal with such matters themselves.

This proposed new change in the law, when it is implemented, may well see an initial rise in divorce rates, as those who were waiting to be separated for two years can accelerate their plans. There may be others who think it will be easier to ‘go it alone’ when it comes to separation and divorcing.

However, anyone thinking of separating or divorcing from their spouse should always seek expert legal advice first, to ensure they protect their position and make the best decisions for their particular circumstances.

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