January is the month of the year where family lawyers expect to see a spike in calls about relationship breakdowns. And, the first full working week in January (which started on the 6th this year) is often dubbed Divorce Week because it’s the time most people seek advice about divorce.
Whether the reason for the divorce is arguments from over Christmas, putting off getting advice until after the festivities, or something else, you would want an expert solicitor on your side. You want your solicitor to walk you through what will happen and get the best possible outcome for you. A part of that is being up to date on recent changes to the law.
Reforms to Divorce Law
On the 7th January, the Law Society announced that the planned reforms to Divorce Law was finally introduced to the House of Lords. The new Divorce, Separation and Dissolution Bill was put on hold twice last year, most lately as a result the December General Election.
Currently, couples who want to Divorce must prove one or more of 5 “facts” to the Court. These are adultery, behaviour, 2 years if the other party consents, desertion, and 5 years separation if the other party won’t agree to the Divorce.
Divorcing couples must lay blame on each other for the breakdown of the marriage. But, that is not helpful to couples who have made a mutual decision to go their separate ways. The idea of the new Bill is to remove the need for blame from the proceedings, creating what has been called a “no fault Divorce”. And, the other party will no longer be able to contest the Divorce. Presently, people in the 40s have the highest divorce rate.
Relate, the relationship charity, have commented that “people reach a stage of life where they have more money, their children have left home and they are suddenly alone together with no other distractions leaving couples wondering whether they really do want to spend the rest of their lives together.”
The proposed changes have been welcomed by Family Lawyers. Many believe that the existing 50-year-old law is completely outdated, creating unwanted animosity and hostility between the parties to the Divorce. This often spreads, leaving a damaging effect on any children of the family.
In addition, the new reforms will bring in a minimum time frame for the divorce proceedings of 6 months. This makes sure there is a chance for reflection on the situation and allows for the divorce to be reversed, if the couple want to turn back and try again. At the moment the law does not have a minimum period of time before the divorce to be finalised.
However, some things will be the same. The new law will not affect Proceedings relating to the matrimonial finances of children.
Find Out More About Divorce
You can expect more updates like these from the government and the Law Society in the coming months. Check back here if you want to stay up to date on changes to divorce laws.
If you’re considering or already facing a divorce, why not give us a call on 01925 351 350? We pride ourselves on building a close relationship with our clients. So, if you need advice or assistance with any relationship issues, we will treat you with care and support. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you.