New “No Fault” Divorce Laws Come into Force From Tomorrow


The minor divorces, which went into effect on Wednesday, were described as a “halloween moment”.

Activists have announced that the biggest swing in divorce law over the past half century is “Halloween time” for couples who want to be friends. From Wednesday, couples in England and Wales will be able to start litigation without any charges being brought with the Simple Divorce Act in place.

Activists say this will help couples move forward instead of clarifying the past and allow them to provide the best outcomes for their families without undue conflict. Stuart Rove, partner at Thackeray Williams law firm in south London and Kent, said: “This is a turning point that the couples have been waiting for.

“It truly is a Hallelujah time and it will save couples from the unspoken pain of blaming someone for a divorce.”

Ten Owens, whose case campaigned to change the law nearly four years ago, called the move a “significant milestone”. He lost the battle in the Supreme Court in 2018 after failing to convince judges that his 40-year marriage should end.

He said, “No one should be left in a loveless marriage or endure a long, drawn-out and expensive process. This change in the law protects this and I welcome it.”

His attorney, Simon Beckley, a partner of Pine Hicks Beach, said the change “won’t come soon enough.” He said, “In addition to reducing potential disagreement by removing the issue of guilt from the divorce law, there are many benefits to the new law, including allowing joint divorce applications for the first time, eliminating the possibility of this happening. To protect a spouse’s divorce and simplify the terminology and language of divorce.”

He said those who think that this change in the law will lead to a “quick divorce” are mistaken, because between initiating the lawsuit and requesting the conditional order, there are at least 20 weeks and another six weeks before the divorce. Until this week in England and Wales, if no one could prove adultery, unreasonable behavior or neglect, the only way to divorce without the husband’s consent was to live separately for five years.

Amicable, an online divorce service, said the move marked a “major narrative shift to separation” and would contribute in some way to healing the “culprit” system. Co-founder Kate Daly said the group “strongly opposes” the claim that the new legislation would undermine the sanctity of marriage, rather than allowing divorce “in a less punitive and more cooperative manner.”

Elspet Kinder, partner in family law and president of JMW Solicitors, said there is likely to be a temporary increase in requests because some couples have delayed procedures until the rules are changed. He said couples filing for divorce together “could become the standard procedure as lawyers try to reduce conflict” and that the new legislation “significantly speeds up” the process for couples who previously opted for divorce based on a two-year separation. .

The National Family Mediation Charitable Association said it is bracing for its busiest month, as its mediators prepare for a “flood of suffrage”. Experts warned that this step could lead to undesirable consequences.

Sarah Anticon, partner of Charles Russell Specials, cautioned that waiting at least 20 weeks would be “outrageous to many”. He added: “Divorce advocates have rightly spent years lobbying for an end to the often toxic ‘blame game’.

However, if spouses no longer express their marital loss in this way, it is not clear where feelings of loss, sadness, and anger will be expressed. It may be necessary to resolve this issue through other services, including consulting.”

The groups also called for more support for children whose parents have separated. Family Solutions Group welcomed the introduction of simple divorce methods, but said it was “just a part of Jigsaw” and called for more help to reduce conflict for children whose parents are separated.

The Positive Parents Alliance said the positive step is “a far cry from the big leap needed to bring about fundamental change to protect children’s mental health after parents break up.” Founder James Heyhurst said: “Now we need to start thinking very differently and more broadly about the whole issue of relationship separation and divorce, which should be seen as a pressing issue of health and well-being, for both parents and parents of children.


Source: Belfastlive


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