Under the current divorce laws, couples wishing to start divorce proceedings with two years of separation have to rely on what are known as ‘fault-based’ facts, i.e. adultery or unreasonable behaviour. This can cause unnecessary animosity and upset for couples that have simply grown apart and no longer love each other.
A bill removing fault from the divorce process has now been passed through Parliament which is a significant step after years of campaigning.
It is however anticipated that the new law will not come into effect until the Autumn of 2021, and therefore, it remains the law that if couples have been separated for less than two years and wish to get divorced, fault on behalf of one party must be cited.
This does not however mean that that couples should wait until then to get divorced. At Hill and Company Solicitors, we are committed to taking a non-confrontational approach to divorce and have helped many couples to remain amicable throughout the process, even when a fault has been cited.
It is advisable to issue proceedings sooner rather than later once the difficult decision to end a marriage has been made, in order to resolve financial matters. Circumstances can change over time and until a Clean Break has been achieved, couples can continue to make financial claims against each other’s income, assets and pensions. Waiting for the new law to come in could mean that you lose out financially, if for example you are promoted at work, inherit property, or build up savings post-separation. Forming new relationships can also affect the financial aspect of the separation and it is therefore always advisable to resolve financial matters at the earliest opportunity.