"The recent announcement by the Justice Secretary to grant couples non-fault divorces is welcome and long overdue."
Gemma Brooke, a Solicitor at Cygnet Law
Redcar-based solicitor Cygnet Law is welcoming a change in legislation to grant separated couples access to non-fault divorces.
A recent announcement by the Justice Secretary suggests that divorcing couples will no longer have to assign blame at the point that they wish to dissolve their marriage as part of a new law designed to end family conflict.
Prior to the 9 April announcement, couples wishing to end their marriage for amicable reasons must be separated for two years to be granted a divorce, unless one party accepts ‘fault’ for the breakdown of the marriage. This can be extended to five years if both parties cannot agree that the marriage should end.
Cygnet Law, which offers a range of legal services including wills and probate, property, family law, and mental health cases, has been campaigning for many years to see this outdated approach to divorce revised to reflect modern society.
Gemma Brooke, a Solicitor at Cygnet Law, said: “The recent announcement by the Justice Secretary to grant couples non-fault divorces is welcome and long overdue. Forcing couples who wish to end their marriage to wait at least two years for a no-fault divorce, as has happened previously, or forcing one party to take the blame does more harm than good, particularly if there are children involved.
“Sadly, there are occasions where marriages break down because it’s just not right for the two parties involved, and this new change to the law goes some way to alleviating an already painful situation.
“Times have changed since the 1970s, when the original, fault-heavy divorce law was first introduced. It is heartening to see the legal system moving with the times and bringing the law up to date with modern society.”
Gemma added: “I don’t think that this ruling devalues marriage at all. Nobody considers getting a divorce lightly, and once that decision has been made, it is very unfair to make people wait for such a long period of time. This change will have a positive impact on many of our clients, who would have faced an extended period of heartbreak, caused by an outdated and cruel regulation. It is a welcome step forward for us all.”