No fault Divorce what does it really mean?
Heidi Fleming

No fault Divorce what does it really mean?

Most of you will be aware of the growing campaign and bill going through parliament at the moment on “no fault divorce”. The introduction of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation bill is soon going to be made law but it will only happen if parliament carry the bill over because of the strict timetable for bills to be considered. With the suspension of parliament and dare we say it Brexit, if the bill is not carried over, the process will have to start again with the bill being freshly submitted for consideration.

Present Divorce Law

Under the Present Divorce Law you, you have to satisfy the court that your marriage has irretrievably broken down and you do that by relying on one of 5 facts. Three are to do with how long you have been separated, these are 2 years separation with the other parties consent, 2 years desertion and 5 years separation. The other two facts are fault based and are adultery or unreasonable behaviour.

The proposed change to Divorce Law

The change in the law will mean that parties will no longer have to attribute blame to their partner to obtain a divorce where they haven’t been separated long enough. You will be able to just say in the divorce petition that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and that will be sufficient for a judge to say you are entitled to a divorce. The government and those supportive of the bill believe that the change will help to reduce conflict in family breakdown.

The reality

The bill will allow couples to get divorced more easily but it is unlikely to be quicker given the crisis currently facing the family court system with delays and cuts to funding.

The emotional pain and stress of divorce proceedings is not going to change. The parties are still going to feel emotional pain and point blame. There will still be conflict between parties and matters to resolve which you may not feel you can handle yourself.

The rise of the DIY divorce

Many couples will attempt the divorce process themselves but we cannot stress the importance of taking some legal advice from a family law specialist before you do. It is important that you understand the impact of the divorce.

Divorce overlooked

Some of the things overlooked by couples who start divorce proceedings and do not seek family legal advice are as follows:

  1. Not understanding that when you apply for the decree absolute this effects inheritance, pensions and life policies
  2. Issuing divorce proceedings does not deal with the financial claims you have against one another; you are going to need a Financial Order
  3. The importance of making a will

At Neves, as family specialists with a wealth of experience in dealing with family breakdown, we are at your side throughout the entire process. We will deal with your matter for you which will instantly reduce the stress knowing your case is in the hands of a specialist. We will always try to deal with your matter as amicably as possible and attempt to reduce the conflict especially where there are children involved.

Get in touch with our team of Family Law specialists by calling 0330 0945 500 emailing or simply complete our contact form and someone will be back in touch shortly.