Despite being pushed back to Spring next year , the long-awaited Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill 2020, which introduces ‘no fault’ divorces into England and Wales for the first time, is due to come into law on April 6th 2022.
The biggest reform in Divorce Law for 50 years, the changes are widely viewed to be positive, bringing what is considered an ‘old and outdated’ system in line with modern day relationships and family life.
By removing the ‘blame’ aspect under the current legislation for grounds to divorce, couples will be able to mutually cite ‘irretrievable breakdown’ as the sole grounds for wanting to obtain a divorce.
But consider this…
There’s no doubt that the implementation of ‘no fault’ divorces will significantly reduce any animosity, stress and upset that the current divorce process can often create.
It’s likely to also lessen the costs that may have previously been accrued due to the time taken to agree and apportion the ‘blame’ requirement under the present law.
But, (and it’s a big ‘but’), a considerable portion of disagreement, antagonism and upset (not to mention expense) frequently arises from the discussions relating to other issues arising from a separation, such as finances and children.
How can this be minimised?
Why Mediation Matters
And this is why mediation will still have an important place alongside no-fault divorces.
A voluntary and confidential process for separating couples, mediation focusses on assisting the parties to reach lasting resolutions – helping the couple to resolve and prevent disputes in relation to property, assets and finance.
Mediation can be particularly important when children are involved, helping couples reach mutually acceptable proposals relating to their care, contact arrangements and co-parenting plans.
‘No fault’ Divorce & Mediation
To conclude, it’s anticipated that the new law reforms will reduce the need for mediation during the divorce process, meaning it’s likely to be much more straightforward, much less charged and should cost less.
But mediation can still be a quicker, cheaper and less stressful process to resolve the other matters arising from a separation.
What if it’s not right for me/us?
Mediation isn’t always the right solution for everyone. And it isn’t the only way for disputes between separating or divorcing couples to be resolved.
It’s advisable that both parties seek independent legal advice to ensure that you each have a clear understanding of all options open to you before final decisions are made.
Mediation at SH&Co.
We’re here to do exactly that.
A highly experienced member of our Family Law department, Victoria Poole is also a Resolution-trained All Issues Family Mediation Council-accredited Mediator. This means she’ll clearly explain the mediation process and help you understand the complete range of options available and clarify your position.
If you would like more information on the mediation process or how mediation might help you, please contact us on 01606 48777 to book a FREE 30 minute appointment (for all new clients).