Solicitors Based In Chester Offering Legal Services throughout England and Wales
Solicitors Based In Chester Offering Legal Services throughout England and Wales

No-Fault Divorce: Pros and Cons

Divorce can be a very painful and challenging process. Ending your marriage is not something that should be taken lightly. However, if the relationship has become unsustainable, then it may be best for the two of you to go separate ways. But opposite to the common conception, one can get divorced without blaming the other person.

What Is No-Fault Divorce?

As per no-fault divorce, in order to dissolve any marriage, none of the partners will have to prove that the breakdown of marriage owns to any or all of the five accepted reasons:

-Adultery
-Unreasonable behaviour
-Desertion
-2 years separation with consent
-5 years separation without consent

Pros Of No-Fault Divorce

The biggest advantage of the No-fault divorce law is that it will obviate the need to place blame on one party or the other for the divorce. This new law was championed by a group of divorce law solicitors who analysed the mental, emotional, and relational wreckage that was left in the wake of divorce cases.

Rather than focusing their energies on working out on an equitable agreement and building a new life, couples tend to get caught up in the “blame game”. They do so under the misapprehension that divorce can only be finalised if one is proven guilty and that it will impact the division of assets. The truth is that bad behaviour is rarely considered when calculating a financial settlement.

The hope is that it will encourage couples to direct their energies to the practical issues of the proceedings. This will also help the divorcing couples to save money in legal proceedings and fees of hiring a private investigator to dig up dirt on the other person.

For couples with children, removing blame will help them focus on their kids. They will be able to avoid unnecessary conflict and decide on arrangements that work for everyone. It can be damaging for children to see their parents denigrating each other and makes parenting even harder. The new no-fault divorce law will hopefully make divorce less confrontational and more collaborative.

Cons Of No-Fault Divorce

No-fault divorce has its downside. The fact that it makes divorce much more accessible can devalue the taking of marriage vows. It can encourage even the most serious, moral, and responsible person to marry on a whim, knowing that they can dissolve the marriage at the first sign of trouble or difficulty.

There is some evidence that suggests an increase in the number of divorces in places where a no-fault law has been introduced. However, this data should be looked at with some scepticism. In most instances, it is not the new divorce law that encourages the dissolution of marriage; it is that people are now able to get out of marriages that were already bad.

Can You Get a No-Fault Divorce in England and Wales?

No-fault divorce has been functional in many other countries for many years. Though the U.K. has been an outlier, things are going to change as No-Fault Divorce is due to come into effect in England and Wales in April 2022.

When the law comes into effect, married couples can file for a no-fault divorce but it will still take at least six months before you can obtain a final divorce order. And you will still need to agree on a divorce settlement with your partner. You will have to work towards an agreement on alimony, the division of assets, and child custody if any. This is always the hardest part of a divorce, and it is not likely to become any easier with no-fault divorce coming into effect.

If you and your partner cannot agree on the matters listed above, then you may have to bring your case before a judge who will decide them for you. The other option is alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or mediation.

Indeed, human relationships are too complicated to be broken down into neat little descriptive boxes. The unsustainability of a marriage may owe to myriad issues that have nothing to do with the 5 accepted reasons stipulated by the current British law.

On balance, the no-fault divorce law that comes into effect in 2022 will be good. It will encourage couples whose marriage has ended the means to divorce in a constructive and less harmful way.

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