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8 June 2020 | Comment | Article by Adrienne Donneky

No fault divorces: ending the blame game and bringing divorce into the 21st century

The anticipated second reading on 8 June 2020 of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill is a cause for hope among the majority of family lawyers who have long been in favour of no-fault divorce/dissolution options – recognising that the initial need for blame sets an unfortunate tone for the remainder of the case.

The Second Reading is normally the first opportunity for a Bill to be debated in either House – the Lords or the Commons – and is the stage where the overall principles of the Bill are considered. If the Bill passes its Second Reading, it moves on to the Committee Stage.

If it subsequently becomes law the need to blame will be removed, leaving many people in a much better place to deal with children and financial arrangements.

Many marriages and partnerships end simply because they end, not for a clearly identifiable reason. It is these relationships which will benefit the most from a change in the law, which allows a mutual divorce to proceed without anyone having to give reasons for it – other than “irretrievable breakdown”.

Whilst the proposed changes will lead to a minimum period of the divorce process being six months, that is six months during which the people separating can finalise the arrangements for any children and/or financial matters in many cases without the shadow of the “he/she/they did/said that” haunting them or the ability for one person to contest the divorce.

Finally, We’re one step closer to a divorce process which actively encourages cooperation from the start.

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Author bio

Adrienne Donneky is Senior Associate and heads up the family team. Adrienne is a highly experienced solicitor having practised in the area of family law for over 20 years. She advises individuals on a wide range of family matters including divorce and disputes between parents in relation to their children.  Adrienne has particular expertise in cases concerning the resolution of financial issues on divorce and between unmarried couples on separation.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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