In the adage that all good things come to those who wait, I welcome the news that ‘no fault’ divorce will finally become law – dispensing with the damaging ‘blame game’ which is detrimental to all involved.
We’ve previously shared our concerns on how the present fault based divorce system can result in acrimonious break ups – with antagonism very often continuing after the parties have separated and where one parent is living with a new partner.
Over the years we have witnessed how this friction impacts negatively on children who, trapped in the crossfire, often retreat into an artificial world to escape the stresses and strains.
The long-term repercussions to children of all ages include poor education, health problems such as depression and concentration issues – all of which can result in long and short term damage and affect their future prospects.
Behavioural issues are also common as children can become attention-seeking and demanding.
Under current legislation, unless couples have been living apart for a period of time one of them must apportion some form of blame, either adultery or unreasonable behaviour, which can in itself create conflict.
Thankfully the new law will remove the ability to contest a divorce and end the need to prove adultery, unreasonable behaviour or to live apart for five years before a divorce can be granted.
It is proposed that while the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage as the sole ground for divorce will remain, the need to provide evidence of a ‘fact’ around behaviour or separation will be replaced with a requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown.
Changing the system to remove acrimony and frustration enables couples to focus on vital factors such as creating financial security and ensuring the future happiness and wellbeing for their children is preserved in a harmonious – as opposed to a harmful – environment.
About Peter Jones
Peter Jones is one of the country’s leading divorce and family lawyers. A qualified arbitrator and mediator, Peter set up Jones Myers as the first niche family law firm in the north of England in 1992 and has acted for a string of high-profile clients.
Renowned for his sympathetic approach, he is a former national chairman of Resolution, a former Deputy District Judge – and instigated the D5 Group of law firms that promotes excellence in family law. www.jonesmyers.co.uk