Family law experts at Sheffield’s Taylor&Emmet LLP are welcoming news that local couples will be able to divorce without assigning blame from April 6 next year.
The announcement was made in parliament yesterday and will bring to an end a long-running campaign to update UK divorce laws so they reflect modern families.
Michaela Evans, Taylor&Emmet’s head of family law, said: “As a profession, we have championed the need for no-fault divorce for years. We are disappointed the changes will not take place for another 10 months, but pleased that we now have certainty over the introduction of this landmark reform.
“I am committed to helping separating couples resolve matters in a cooperative way, but the current law, which requires one party to make allegations against the other, does not set them on the right path to enter into constructive negotiations. We hope these changes will ensure more divorces reach early, amicable settlements, saving the cost, emotionally and financially, of protracted court proceedings.”
The new law will remove the possibility of contesting a divorce, introduce the option of a joint application and replace the five current grounds for separation with a requirement to provide a statement attesting that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
Michaela is a member of Resolution, which has led the campaign for no-fault divorce. It had hoped the new law would come into force this autumn, but understands the delay is necessary for IT changes to be made to the courts’ online divorce systems. It will also allow family law practitioners time to become acquainted with the new rules.