No fault divorce under consultation confirmed.

17th September 2018 Family Law

It is really good to hear that the government is consulting on reform to the divorce law, with the specific aim of bringing forward a no fault scheme that avoids couples having to choose between finding fault in the form of behaviour of adultery or waiting out a two or five year separation period. This has been a long time coming, especially given that a previous scheme, contained in the Family Law Act 1996, was brought into law more than 20 years ago but later shelved.

Undoubtedly, the need to point the finger of blame or wait in legal limbo does not help couples who are trying to negotiate a financial settlement or arrangements for children. However, this is only one of a number of issues facing separating couples, a significant proportion of whom are not married anyway and therefore unaffected by the divorce process. Getting a modern, no fault divorce law is just one piece of the puzzle to bring about better outcomes for families experiencing relationship breakdown.

So once the divorce reform is up and running let’s hope that is sooner rather than later the government has plenty to choose from if it is thinking about updating and improving family law more generally to support family life before, during and after separation. Improving access to applications for financial provision for unmarried parents (under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989), providing better resources and interventions for families experiencing high levels of conflict that inflict damage on child-parent relationships, greater certainty in financial remedy proceedings, improving the Child Maintenance Service.. the list goes on.

If we can assist in relation to any divorce related query please do not hesitate to contact our team.

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Michael Chapman is a Head of Department located in Manchester Londonin our FamilySports Law departments

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