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Guildford lawyer says divorce law changes "less upsetting for children"

3 minute read
Guildford lawyer says divorce law changes "less upsetting for children"

Published at 1:44pm 9th April 2019.

A Guildford family lawyer has welcomed the government's plans to overhaul divorce laws and end the "blame game". 

Under the current rules there's a legal requirement for one person to prove their partner's at fault. 

But planned changes in England and Wales would mean there is no legal requirement to do so, ending the strain on families the current system can bring. 

The shake-up means will also include measures to stop a husband or wife being able to contest a break-up. 

Rachel Donald, Lawyer at Penningtons Manches in Guildford, said:

"It means that you can focus on the issues that you really do need to talk about, like how much time the children are going to spend with each party and you're going to resolve your finances, without getting bogged down in whose fault it is for the marriage breaking down."

It is also thought the it will make the process less upsetting for children, which Rachel agreed with:

"If you are sitting at home and you receive a petition through the post that has a long list of the reasons why you are at fault for this marriage breaking down, that's going to upset you and create animosity between the parents. 

"So, taking that away, it can only help children", she said. 

Currently in England and Wales, couples have to provide evidence of separation or unreasonable behaviour.

In future, it's suggested both sides should just confirm the relationship's broken down.

Huw Thomas from the support charity Relate thinks it'll stop unnecessary conflict at an already stressful time for families. He said:

"Sometimes relationships just come to an end and there are many people who would potentially be able to end their relationship amicably and constructively. But the current system forces them into a position of apportioning the blame."

 

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