Mark Edwards chats to Lanyon Bowdler's family law expert Philippa Pearson about the recent change in divorce law

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In Conversation with Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors

Friday, April 29th, 2022 - 12 minutes

The biggest change in divorce law for 50 years has now come into effect - making it easier for couples to part on good terms.

Staci Robinson, a family law specialist at Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors in Hereford, says the so-called No Fault Divorce legislation has brought an end to the blame culture, which so often made a difficult situation worse for everyone.

She said: “From 6th April, the law will recognise that if one party to a marriage feels the marriage has broken down, then it has and the other party can no longer defend a divorce application.”

“As before, one party can file for divorce but perhaps most importantly, couples can now file a joint application for divorce, which has never been permitted before. Gone are the allegations of unreasonable behaviour, always so difficult to come up with when two people felt the relationship had just fizzled out and they wanted to stay on good terms for the sake of the children or the wider family.”

“The new legislation will benefit couples who have hit difficulties in their marriage that they don’t think can be repaired, it also represents a really positive development in moving away from the blame culture that existed under the old law.”

“There will no longer be any need for allegations of adultery or unreasonable behaviour either, which have often led to conflict, needless worry, confusion and extra costs, nor is there a need to prove that you had lived apart for a certain period of time, or endured a totally artificial lifestyle under one roof to persuade the court you have lived separate lives.”

“It really is the most significant change in family law for almost half a century.”

Lanyon Bowdler is a member of Resolution - an organisation of professionals committed to a code of practice in working with families and individuals to resolve issues in a constructive way.

Staci added: “Resolution members advocate that divorce or civil partnership dissolution should never be about winners and losers, and this legislation paves the way for constructive discussion rather than conflict.”

“However, despite the changes it is still essential to have professional advice throughout the process to ensure a positive outcome for everyone.”

To talk to the family law team at Lanyon Bowdler, call the Hereford office on 01432 352345, the Bromyard office on 01885 488442, or visit the website at 

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