Redcar-based solicitor Cygnet Law is calling for a change in legislation to grant separated couples faster access to non-fault divorces.
At present, when a couple decides to end their marriage for amicable reasons, they must be separated for two years to be granted a divorce, unless one party accepts ‘fault’ for the breakdown of the marriage. This can be extended to five years if both parties cannot agree that the marriage should end.
Cygnet Law, which offers a range of legal services including wills and probate, property, family law, and mental health cases, wants to see this outdated approach to divorce revised to reflect modern society.
Supporters of the current law suggest that a change to allow non-fault divorces to be processed more quickly would devalue marriage, and make couples going through difficulties less inclined to attempt to work things out.
John Robinson, a Solicitor and Director at Cygnet Law, said: “Forcing couples who wish to end their marriage to wait at least two years for a no-fault divorce does more harm than good. If the couple have amicably separated, and they just want to start a new chapter of their lives, they can be pushed into one of them taking the blame in order to speed up the process. This can lead to bad feeling and animosity where there needn’t be any.
“It’s the 21st century and things have come a long way since the 1970s, when this law was first introduced. The legal system needs to move with the times, and allow couples to divorce as quickly without fault as they do when there is wrongdoing.”
John added: “I don’t think that it devalues marriage at all. Nobody considers getting a divorce lightly, and once that decision has been made, it is very unfair to make people wait for such a long period of time. For many clients I see, it would save a lot of heartache for both parties involved.”