No Fault Divorce – here at last – A more collaborative approach

This is a welcome piece of legislation long campaigned for over many years by Family Lawyers to reduce conflict and hostility in what can be very complex, difficult and emotional circumstances.

The new law overhauls not only the procedure but the language used and it is hoped that the divorce laws will now be more accessible and easy to understand – with safeguards built in to ensure the parties have proper reflection before the divorce is granted.

By simplifying the divorce and removing the stress and anxiety that could previously be caused by the fault based procedure as the immediate tension and hostility that could be caused by sight of a fault based divorce petition is now removed by way of the new legislation.

From 6th April a fundamental change is that the divorce can be obtained by either one party solely or by both parties jointly – purely on the ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. There is no need for any additional detail e.g. no salacious allegations of behaviour or adultery required. The ability to now obtain a divorce on a joint basis will hopefully pave the way for the parties to deal with the other pressing matters arising on their separation in a more amicable and collaborative way approaching the decisions that need to be taken jointly and with a will to limit acrimony and stress. There are many processes available to the parties as to how they can resolve those wider and hugely important issues and one option is Collaborative Law.

Collaborative law is an out of Court process to resolve issues between separating couples in a non-confrontational way. This builds on the aims of the no-fault divorce legislation to limit tension and reduce acrimony.

Each party is represented by a trained collaborative lawyer and all negotiations are done in face-to-face meetings (called “4-ways”) with you, your partner and the two lawyers working together to resolve the issues. You and your partner with the help of your lawyers set the agenda and the timetable – you talk about what matters to you and at your own pace.

We are trained and experienced collaborative lawyers and are able to advise you on whether collaborative law is suitable for you and if so represent you in this process.

Author: Mandi Austin
Solicitor and Collaborative Lawyer
Purcell Solicitors