Why no-fault divorce is in children’s best interests

By Peter Jones, founder

In the adage that all good things come to those who wait, I welcome the news that ‘no fault’ divorce will finally become law – dispensing with the damaging ‘blame game’ which is detrimental to all involved.

We’ve previously shared our concerns on how the present fault based divorce system can result in acrimonious break ups – with antagonism very often continuing after the parties have separated and where one parent is living with a new partner.

Over the years we have witnessed how this friction impacts negatively on children who, trapped in the crossfire, often retreat into an artificial world to escape the stresses and strains.The long-term repercussions to children of all ages include poor education, health problems such as depression and concentration issues – all of which can result in long and short term damage and affect their future prospects. Behavioural issues are also common as children can become attention-seeking and demanding.

Under current legislation, unless couples have been living apart for a period of time one of them must apportion some form of blame, either adultery or unreasonable behaviour, which can in itself create conflict.

Thankfully the new law will remove the ability to contest a divorce and end the need to prove adultery, unreasonable behaviour or to live apart for five years before a divorce can be granted.

It is proposed that while the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage as the sole ground for divorce will remain, the need to provide evidence of a ‘fact’ around behaviour or separation will be replaced with a requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown.

Changing the system to remove acrimony and frustration enables couples to focus on vital factors such as creating financial security and ensuring the future happiness and wellbeing for their children is preserved in a harmonious – as opposed to a harmful – environment.

For more information about divorce and finances, children’s issues or any aspect of family law, call Jones Myers at our Leeds office on 0113 246 0055, our Harrogate office on 01423 276104, visit www.jonesmyers.co.uk, email info@jonesmyers.co.uk or tweet us @helpwithdivorce

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