Consult a family law specialist or attorney soon if you plan to file for a divorce, as specific changes await for laws governing the dissolution of marriage in England and Wales as quickly as possible.
Justice Secretary David Gauke expects the changes to reduce bitter disagreements among divorcing couples, particularly those who play the “blame game.” A quicker divorce settlement could also mean fewer expenses, so this should be good news for Britons who want to become single once again. You should expect to spend £550 upfront just for starting a divorce process, while other costs like hiring a lawyer and paying different fees can make it more expensive.
According to Gauke, the proposed changes involve the state’s acknowledgment of a person’s petition for divorce due to an irretrievable marriage. Otherwise known as no-fault divorces, the new rules will allow a person to state a reason as simple as being unhappy to separate from their spouse. The receiving party of a petition will be unable to reject a divorce, which is one common reason why some cases take longer than necessary.
Once the proposal becomes effective, married couples in England and Wales could expect a decree absolute at least six months after filing a petition. The new rules will allow joint filings as well to make the process more bearable for the family, especially for the children.
Gauke expects these changes to reduce the emotional burden for young people. Kids often think that their parents are separating because of them, and this can be damaging to their overall health. By making the legal process easier for couples, they could save time and money to focus on their children’s welfare post-divorce.
Current Rules on Divorce
If you can’t wait for the new rules to happen, take note that divorce in the U.K. can only be done within six months by filing for a “fault-based” divorce. The petitioner needs to prove the cause for the failed marriage such as adultery and domestic violence. Don’t file for divorce based on the grounds of adultery if you lived with your spouse for six months after discovering the affair.
In case your spouses initiated the divorce, expect to receive the petition, notice of proceedings and an acknowledgment form. Your partner can move forward when you fail to return a signed form after three weeks. Those who refuse should sign “defending the divorce” section and consequently state the reason within the same time frame.
Likewise, you can’t file for a divorce in England and Wales when you have been married for less than a year. No-fault divorces require you to live separately from your spouse for at least two years, but this doesn’t have to mean that you or your spouse should stay at a different home. Some people prove that they are living apart by neither sharing a bed nor living as a couple.
Whether or not the changes happen as mentioned, it’s essential to have legal representation for a divorce. Remember that you are embarking on singlehood once again, so you should protect your welfare by knowing the best approach for a settlement.