Is The Divorce Process Still A Blame Game?
No-fault divorce came into play on 6th April 2022. This removed the need for divorcing couples to assign blame for the marriage breaking down.
Previously, the focus would often be on who was to blame for the breakdown of the marriage which typically made the process much more difficult, during what was likely already an emotional time for people.
Studies have shown that following the introduction of the new law, the divorce application process has shifted away from a focus on what went wrong, towards a focus on the future and looking to ensure that other matters such as any financial matters or child arrangements are resolved.
The new law also simplified the terminology which was previously used. Again, this was largely in an attempt to make the process less combative. ‘Decree nisi’ and ‘Decree Absolute’ became ‘conditional order’ and ‘final order’. There are now no longer ‘petitioners’, only ‘applicants’.
There are some professionals calling for these reforms to go even further, to remove words such as ‘applicant’ which have been deemed by some to be harmful and too legalistic.
Despite the reforms and changes that have been made to the divorce process, many feel that this is only the first step in a revitalisation of the entire separation process. For example, many consider that the laws governing the resolution of finances upon divorce, which are known as financial remedy proceedings, are outdated and lacking in clarity. Calls for reforms to the division of finances after divorce have been made.
A new ‘scoping paper’ is due in September 2024 which will address potential reform to financial remedy proceedings. It remains to be seen what these reforms will involve and whether they will be the answer to what many argue is currently a highly complex and outdated area of law.
If you are contemplating a divorce but are not sure of the next steps, do not hesitate to call us. Our family team has an extensive knowledge from decades of experience to help you come to the right result for you.
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