2023 has been a year full of reform, and it has only just begun. From government-mandated mediation for separated couples to changes in the age of marital consent, the family justice system is evolving.
With these recent changes in mind, we will be delving into changes to the law that could impact couples looking to separate.
Relationships are not always forever and when they break down it can be a difficult and upsetting time for everyone involved. Separation is the solution that many couples will have to face once these relationships end and new UK legislation has been fully implemented to ensure that the process is as simple as possible.
We want our clients to be informed about the next steps when facing this difficult time and highlight how reforms in the law signal a positive change when it comes to couples’ separations.
‘No Fault’ Negotiation
The typical representation of the divorce and separation court services is that of despair and delegation of blame, causing issues amongst previously amicable partners, family, and children relating to the case.
Before this law, couples would have to prove in court that misconduct such as adultery or unreasonable behaviour had taken place in order for the separation to be considered. This caused couples that were separating, but still amicable, to devolve into vicious cycles of defamation and arguments.
The 2022 reformation has been officiated and carried into 2023 by the UK government. This introduces the ‘no-fault’ divorce reform, which means that couples who have grown apart and decided to separate, can do so without having the previously mentioned faults used as justification for the separation. This allows both parties to separate under better circumstances and continue to operate as a unit for co-parenting purposes.
This reform also calls for tighter restrictions for contesting the divorce, so an individual can apply without the other party’s approval. This means partners trapped in domestic abuse situations can dictate the end of the marriage, and abusive spouses are no longer able to decline a divorce as a tactic to prolong their behaviour.
Previously, we have discussed the issue of domestic abuse with the passing of Section 65. If you’re suffering from domestic abuse we want to help, so please get in touch with our confidential team.
Why was this reform needed?
The reform is part of one of the biggest changes to the divorce/separation law in almost 50 years. It proves to be a better reflection of UK life and the couples the system is designed to help, with the focus being on co-existence and co-parenting.
With the introduction of this law in 2022 and its full integration by 2023, couples can now produce simple statements as to why the marriage has broken down. After which, talks are better focused on important areas, such as living arrangements, children’s needs, and finances.
The dispute and negotiations are steered firmly toward the needs of the client, the client’s spouse and the future of the family as a separated but still structured unit – rather than accusing each other of the marriage breaking down.
What can ICS Law do to help?
Even when divorce proceedings are more amicable now than they have been in previous years, there is still a need for legal representation and advice. ICS Law has the experience and expertise to help. Our marital service advice can assist separating couples with the following:
- Preparing and serving divorce papers
- Legal separation issues
- Annulment of marriages
- Domestic and family violence
- Legal aid for childcare matters
And so much more.
If you’re in need of advice on your separation, get in touch with our expert team now.