UK’s leading divorce reform campaigner welcomes “no fault” divorce legislation

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The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has announced its radical overhaul of current divorce rules to include “no fault” divorce - a move welcomed by lawyers who, for decades, have avidly campaigned for a change in the law.

Following a public consultation, the MoJ has confirmed its previously announced intention to bring reform divorce legislation. It has published details of the proposed changes to the law which include the replacement of the existing grounds for divorce with a new six month “notification” period. The current grounds of including adultery, desertion and behaviour will be abolished and couples will no longer be able to defend divorce proceedings.

Nigel Shepherd, national head of family law at Mills & Reeve who, throughout his long career, has campaigned for reform to the UK’s archaic divorce laws said: “We are delighted at these proposals which will bring our divorce laws into the 21st century and in line with many other countries around the world.

“The simplification of the grounds for divorce, which will get rid of the need to make allegations of behaviour or adultery, will help eliminate the ‘blame-game’ between separating couples and ultimately reduce unnecessary conflict which can have a devastating impact on the family, particularly the children.

“The introduction of no-fault divorce, will enable us to guide divorcing couples through the process more constructively and will support rather than hinder out of court options such as mediation and collaborative practice, which Mills & Reeve are in the forefront of promoting.”

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