England and Wales divorce laws are set to change. Currently, one of the estranged partners must file for divorce against the other on the grounds of alleged adultery or unreasonable behaviour, and the other party can refuse.
Future rules will allow people to divorce on irretrievable breakdown circumstances and will put an end to arguments and blaming each other. The other partner will not be able to contest. The end of the ‘blame game’.
At present, adultery and irretrievable grounds for divorce process can take between 3 to 6 months. No fault-based divorces can take much longer, as couples must prove they have been living apart for at least 2 years in England and only 1 year in Scotland. Leaving the process costly and timely.
The following 5 reasons must be proven in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for divorce grounds.
On the other hand, Scotland’s laws, are slightly easier, if a couple has no children under 16, both can prove the marriage has broken down, they can separate after 1 year with both consent and after 2 years without consent. Otherwise;
Couples can still live in the same house but provided they have separate beds and are not living together as a couple.
The new rules were decided after a Supreme court rejected a women’s divorce application on the grounds, she was unhappy, her husband refused to the divorce and now means that the couple will stay married until 2020, causing delays for couples to move on.
The new law comes with a 6-month timeframe from filing the divorce to receiving the decree absolute with start 'as soon as possible' according to a leading judge. It will also give the couples time to reflect and make sure they are making the right decision. There will also be an option for couples to apply for a joint divorce.
This is the largest change in 50 years in divorce law, the current system sees a lot of upset and damage done to other parties including children. Divorces are stressful enough deciding who is going to get certain items, money, child access.
The new system allows couples to divorce and be no animosity, discuss moving on amicably and prevent children being used as weapons.
About time too. For so long, too many couples end up ‘at war’ over monies, finances, children, blame and more. We hope the ‘no blame’ divorce helps all parties and above all does some good to protect children from any distress.