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Divorce laws have changed this month for the first time in 50 years, putting an end to the blame game for couples that want to break up harmoniously.

What has changed?

Previously, one spouse had to allege adultery, desertion, or unreasonable behaviour to begin proceedings immediately. That decision could also be contested which meant the only way to get divorced without the agreement of your spouse was to live separately for two years.

With a no-fault divorce, couples will not have to attribute blame for the breakdown of their relationship, the couple will state that their marriage has broken down citing ‘irretrievable breakdown’.

The couple will be able to jointly apply for a divorce when the decision is mutual, and there is a 20-week period between the start of the proceedings and applying for a conditional order, and an additional six-week period before the divorce is granted.

The same no-fault rules apply to the dissolution of civil partnerships in England and Wales.

Our Family Law department manager states: “The new law removes the barriers to divorce which have meant unhappy couples have had to remain married until the expiration of a period of two years.

This can often cause more animosity as separated couples cannot move forward or finalise their financial matters. We welcome the new law as a way to allow couples to separate in an amicable fashion especially when separated couples are required to continue to co-parent. “

We can help in all areas of family law and relationships, including:

  • Divorce and financial settlements
  • Relationship breakdown involving unmarried couples
  • Pre-nuptial and Separation Agreements
  • Child Law including Parental Responsibility, Residence, Contact and Prohibited Steps Orders
  • Care Proceedings and Adoption
  • Domestic Violence
  • Civil Partnerships

For more details, please use the contact form on our website for an initial free chat.