The new ‘no blame’ family law legislation announced this week (9th April) will ‘overhaul divorce and reduce family conflict’ says Beverley Morris, head of law firm Lodders’ family law practice.
“On 9th April, Justice Secretary, David Gauke announced the new legislation that is designed to overhaul divorce and reduce family conflict,” explains Beverley.
“The proposals for change include the retention of the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage as being sole ground for divorce. This replaces the necessity to provide evidence of a fact to support this, with a requirement to simply provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown.
“Another welcome move is the creation of the option for a joint application for divorce alongside retaining the current system of one party initiating the proceedings.”
She adds: “The Family team at Lodders are all members of the Resolution organisation (formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association) and, through Resolution, have lobbied the Government extensively seeking a change in divorce law to end the need for blame when a petition is filed with the court.”
The new legislation follows a public consultation, as Beverley explains: “Most family justice professionals took part in a public consultation and voiced their concern at the ongoing need to frequently cite reasons for the breakdown of the marriage which only sought to increase conflict between parties and often damaged their relationship long term, as well as the relationship with their children.
“The announcement is such that divorcing couples will no longer have to blame each other for the breakdown of their marriage,” she says, “and so we should now see a reduction in conflict at the commencement of a case.”
Lodders’ family law team was recognised as a Legal 500 tier 1 firm for family law in its 2019 guide, with Beverley Morris noted for her ‘outstanding hands-on client management skills and excellent judgement’, as well as her ‘extraordinary work ethic and terrific intellect’.
For more information about Lodders: www.lodders.co.uk
Lodders is a premier law firm in Stratford upon Avon, Cheltenham, Birmingham and Henley in Arden. The firm has 25 partners and over 130 fee earners and support staff across its office network. With its portfolio of sector and market specific top-ranking legal teams, the firm has recorded year-on-year growth in recent years.