No Fault Divorce Law – Removing the concept of blame?
Very few people, decide on a whim to get divorced or arrange for their civil partnership to be dissolved. When you enter into a marriage or civil partnership, you are making a commitment to each other and anticipating a lifetime together. When cracks appear, you try to work through the issues and seek guidance and support. There will often be bumps along the way, but you would seek to address these together. If it becomes apparent, that the problems cannot be overcome, you would then take advice as to how best to address the relationship breakdown.
Previously when seeking to move forward by way of divorce or dissolution, you needed a ground and most often you would rely upon unreasonable behaviour. This set out subjectively, why the behaviour of your partner had led to the relationship breakdown. This in itself would cause upset and very personal information would be used to achieve what was required by the Court. Interestingly the ability to divorce after two years separation and consent, wasn’t introduced until 1969. Despite the concept of blame, in reality the old divorce process very rarely sought to hold one party accountable when for example looking at financial matters.
If you look back to see the foundation for divorce, it’s also worth reviewing the concept of a marriage or civil partnership. We’ve moved on from the days when women were considered as chattels and marriage is now entered into as a contract between two parties who have equal standing. Both parties have respect for each other and are entering into a legal contract together. The current changes were originally recommended in 1990 but struggled to be recognised. Times have changed and the law is playing catch up.
By removing the concept of blame, parties are now given the opportunity to address the relationship breakdown with the same mindset ie. to act with dignity and with the overriding purpose of seeking to minimise emotional upset, particularly when children are involved.
It is understandable, that despite the new changes coming into effect where a specific ground is no longer required, emotions will still be high and parties will struggle to move forward. Separation in itself, will trigger a number of emotions whether being scared about the future, worried about money, angry about the actions of your partner, and fear of the unknown.
At ABD, we seek to ensure that every client is treated as an individual and we will listen to you and support you during difficult times. However a relationship has broken down, we will help you make informed choices about your future so that you can be reassured that any decisions you make are the right one for you.