Green light for no-fault divorce
The legislation – the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill - passed its first hurdle onto the statute books almost a year ago today, when on 9 June 2020 MPs overwhelming voted in favour of the Bill.
Yesterday, 7 June 2021, the Government by way of a parliamentary question confirm the Bill will be law from 6 April 2022, allowing couples to divorce without apportioning blame.
Divorce is always a challenging time and not made easier by the constraints of the current legislation. The introduction of no-fault divorce will ease tensions for couples to separate without having to point the finger of blame and the passions that can arise as a result.
The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill has been a long time coming and is welcomed. Indeed, the first attempt to introduce no-fault divorce was in 1996. Removing unnecessary acrimony can only be a good thing for the couples involved and their children.
Ahead of the curve
Royds Withy King actually pioneered easier, quicker and less stressful ways for couples to separate.
In March 2020 as the UK entered its first lockdown, the team adopted video call technology and the hiring of private judges to help divorcing couples speedily reach financial settlements – often the sticking point in divorce proceedings.
Recently, the Government introduced the option of progressing the divorce online via a portal. Our firm has embraced this as it considerably reduces the delay for divorcing clients.
Reaching financial settlement is often the source of protracted and heated argument, involving court time in front of a judge.
During lockdown, we have been using private Financial Dispute Resolution hearings where parties appoint a private judge to help reach a settlement. These hearings are being conducted by video conference and make the process faster and less stressful on the separating individuals.
Financial Dispute Resolution hearings conducted via video conference with a private judge can continue until a settlement is reached, often on the same day. We believe this approach will continue and be made easier with no-fault divorces.