Important Changes in divorce for 2021

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Amid the challenges many have faced this year there are some vast changes in respect of divorce law in the UK. Solicitors may now file divorce and financial remedy applications through the family court online portal. My HMCTS still requires some improvement and it is often not user friendly, but it has unbelievably reduced waiting times from three to four months to approve a financial consent order to a matter of days. There has also been a vast reduction in uncontested divorce proceedings with cases completing within six months from start to finish. All of the family team at Hewitts Solicitors are using the online portal offering a much faster service for clients.

Along with the implementation date of the much awaited “no fault” divorce which is anticipated in October 2021, the legislation having been passed in June 2020.  This act will end all ‘fault’ arguments of adultery and behaviour and there will be only one ground for divorce with a provision of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. No fault divorce will have a minimum ‘reflection period’ of 26 weeks and allow parties to divorce if the marriage has broken down. Unlike previous proceedings parties will be able to make a joint statement and it will not be possible to contest the decision to the divorce. The twelve month wait to start proceedings will remain if parties have been married less than one year and there will still be six weeks between the interim conditional order and the final decree.

Our specialist family team recognise that taking away blame will help those who decide that their marriage or civil partnership has broken down to deal with the legal consequences without getting caught up in having to assert blame. Resolution and many other organisations have seen the effect of relationship breakdowns and a way which concentrates on improving non-confrontational ways of separating and reaching financial settlements can only be a step in the right direction. If you are considering separation or divorce proceedings please seek advice from our specialist family team as it is important to take clear advice on the financial matters arising from the divorce proceedings. Divorce does not deal with financial matters and neither does it sever the financial duties created when you marry. This is a separate process and it is important to have an understanding of your position and consider whether a clean break financial consent order is appropriate.

If you require any assistance in respect of any family law matter then please contact a member of our dedicated family team, who will be more than happy to assist.

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