Currently the Court system in England and Wales does not recognise a non-fault based divorce system unless parties have been separated for a period of 2 years or more. As it currently stands, a Petitioner must demonstrate to the Court that the marriage or civil partnership has irretrievably broken down due to either the Respondent’s adultery or unreasonable behaviour.
Many other countries have adopted a non-fault based system, meaning that parties can divorce on the grounds that the marriage or civil partnership has simply come to an end.
In England and Wales there have been calls for this to change for many years and finally the No Fault Divorce Bill is to be presented in the next session of Parliament which is to commence in May 2016. The Bill makes provision for the dissolution of a marriage or civil partnership when each party has separately made a declaration that the marriage or civil partnership has irretrievably broken down without a requirement of either party to satisfy the Court of any wrongdoing on the part of the Respondent.
The family and mediation team at Stephen Rimmer LLP would welcome this change which would mean that there would be no need to place blame or demonstrate any wrongdoing. It is our view that the time for allocating blame for the breakdown of the marriage, as encouraged by the current Court system, has passed.
A non-fault divorce will reduce the long, cut throat battles of who is to blame and it also means parties are able to avoid airing their dirty laundry in public. A further positive aspect is that clients, and their lawyers, can put their time and focus on the financial aspects arising from the separation and the welfare of the children.
The less time and emphasis which is placed on the actions which led to the breakdown of the marriage is likely to keep parties focused on moving forward and avoiding extra stress.
We offer fixed fees for assisting with your divorce;
- £600 plus VAT – if you are the Petitioner in the divorce (to include a free basic Will)
- £400 including VAT – if you are the Respondent in the divorce
In addition to the above, there will be a Court fee of £550 payable (if you are the Petitioner in the divorce). There are some circumstances in which your financial situation may enable you to be exempt from this fee and we will advise you of this if it is applicable to you. We will discuss with you your options of claiming all or part of your costs from the other party where