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No fault divorce finally approved

Family lawyers have welcomed a major change to divorce law as no fault divorce passed its final hurdle.

After decades of campaigning by divorce lawyers, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill has finally been passed by Parliament.

The bill, which received Royal Assent on 25 June, will bring about the end of the blame game and will come as a welcome relief to some of the 100,000 couples that divorce in the UK each year.

Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, The Rt Hon Robert Buckland said: “The institution of marriage will always be vitally important, but we must never allow a situation where our laws exacerbate conflict and harm a child’s upbringing. By sparing individuals the need to play the blame game, we are stripping out the needless antagonism this creates so families can better move on with their lives.”

There are still concerns by some. Law Society president, Simon Davis said: “We have long argued the notice period should begin when the divorce application is received by the respondent, rather than when the divorce is applied for – ensuring both partners are on the same page from the start and have sufficient time to seek the legal and financial advice they need. We commend the government for moving forward with the legislation and would welcome opportunities to address our concerns around the notice period.”

Richard Johnson, divorce lawyer, commented: “As a divorce lawyer, it’s my role to help couples navigate the divorce process and achieve a fair outcome. The no-fault concept will minimise opportunities for conflict, reduce the emotional cost of separation and minimise the impact on any children the couple have.”

However, we will need to wait a while longer. It is likely to be towards the end of 2021 or even early 2022 before couples in England and Wales can realistically take advantage of the no-fault route.

If you are planning to separate or divorce, make sure you know your rights before you take any action. Speak to our friendly team on 01302 320621 or email family@athertongodfrey.co.uk 

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