“Blame game” ends as no-fault divorce comes into force
Landmark reforms introducing no-fault divorce aimed at reducing conflict between separating couples come into force today.
The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act (2020), represents the biggest shake-up in divorce law for more than half a century. It ends completely the need for separating couples to apportion blame for the breakdown of their marriage, helping them to instead focus on key practical decisions involving children or their finances and look to the future.
Previously, one spouse was forced to make accusations about the other’s conduct, such as ‘unreasonable behaviour’ or adultery, or face years of separation before a divorce could be granted. This was regardless of whether a couple had made a mutual decision to separate.
The changes mean that a spouse, or a couple jointly, can now apply for divorce by stating their marriage has broken down irretrievably. It removes unnecessary finger-pointing and acrimony at a time where emotions are already running high, and spares children from witnessing their parents mudslinging.
Importantly, it stops one partner from vindictively contesting a divorce and locking their spouse into an unhappy marriage. In some cases, domestic abusers can use their ability to challenge the process to further harm their victims or to trap them in the relationship. The reforms will put an end to this type of behaviour.
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The information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and you should take full and comprehensive legal advice on your individual circumstances by a fully qualified Solicitor before you embark on any course of action.
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