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No fault divorce and why should it matter

No fault divorce and why should it matter

Last week over 100 family lawyers from all over the Country visited Westminster to Lobby MPs about changing the basis for divorce in this country.

At the moment, when a married couple separate they can only divorce within a 2 year period if they rely on the other persons unreasonable behaviour or adultery. The National Body for Family Lawyers known as Resolution - First for Family Law, have long since said that it would be better for all concerned, particularly families, if this need to show fault on someone's part could be removed from the divorce process.

So does this mean that we want to make divorce easier? Not necessarily, no. Most Family Lawyers believe that in removing the need for blame at such a difficult time, would remove a great deal of distress and acrimony in the divorce process. This could be a massive benefit for children whose parents are going through divorce as it removes a lot of conflict around the issue of blame.

In recent times, the Government has tried to make the actual divorce process through the Court a bit easier by changing the forms in the hope that people who don't want to instruct a Solicitor or can't afford to, can do the forms themselves.

However, the basis for a divorce can be confusing and difficult for people to understand. If the reason to blame someone was also removed, not only would this make the process easier, but there is a better chance that acrimony could be avoided when it comes to dealing with financial and children's issues.

It's understandable that people get very worried when they get divorce papers which might contain unpleasant allegations about them. Sometimes, people want to divorce and think they have to say a number of horrible things about the other party to get what they want. The other person may want to defend themselves.

Ultimately, when a marriage breaks down both parties often want a divorce so that they can move on with their lives. It doesn't help them to have to set out what they might feel is unpleasant information about the breakdown of the relationship. It also doesn't help the other party to feel that the blame is all on them and so an unnecessary argument may follow, often with children caught in the middle.

Often it makes little difference to anything who is at fault however, when emotions are already running high, it doesn't take much to make things worse.

There is no decision yet on whether there will be any change in the law which interestingly, was set out in the Act of 1973. Of course, attitudes have moved a long way since then so perhaps the Government will finally agree that it's time the law moved on too. We will keep you informed but in the meantime, if you need any help and advice about your particular situation, do get in touch.

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