I noted a press release this afternoon, released by the Minister of Justice, that promised the “biggest shake-up of divorce laws in 50 years aimed at reducing conflict and supporting children and families.”
And I, for one, agree. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill will revolutionise the way in which divorcing couples will end their marriage.
No longer will they need to lay blame either through allegations of bad behaviour or adultery and instead this will be replaced with a simple statement of irretrievable breakdown.
The truly original feature is that couples may opt to make a joint statement of irretrievable breakdown if they choose. Reflecting the fact that when many marriages end, both parties have reached the same conclusion.
It will also take away the prospects of unsightly defended divorce cases where parties are subjected to airing the intimate aspects of their marriage in the Court.
It is to be hoped that starting the divorce process on a less contentious footing will help the parties to resolve other issues that may arise whether they relate to future arrangements for their children or sorting out financial settlements.
I think that the end of the blame game in divorce is definitely one step closer.
Julian Hawkhead, Senior Partner at Stowe Family Law