Divorce to become more straightforward for local people in South Essex, says Palmers solicitor

Changes to the divorce process announced by the Government mean that it will be easier in future for couples in South Essex to part ways.

Justice Secretary David Gauke announced the move following a consultation on the measures last autumn that found resounding support for a change in the UK’s divorce laws.

People who petition for divorce will now only need to provide a statement confirming that the relationship has irretrievably broken down.

The change means that it will no longer be possible for the other partner to contest a divorce. This is a rare occurrence, however, a prominent case at the Supreme Court last year saw a wife forced to wait until 2020.

At the same time, the Government will introduce a six-month minimum period from a divorce petition being made to the issue of the decree absolute – the document that makes the divorce final.

Surjit Verdi, a Partner in the Family department at Palmers Solicitors, made comments in response to news that couples will no longer have to provide evidence of bad behaviour in order to secure a divorce.

Surjit Verdi said: “This change will be welcomed by many and will stop the process being one of blame, which has led to unnecessary acrimony and anxiety between parties at an already trying time for couples. The new laws are in touch with modern life.

“This change will lessen the emotional burden on parties as they will not need to attribute blame to a party or have to wait the two year period to divorce on the ground of separation.

“The six-month minimum period will provide a meaningful period of reflection and the opportunity to turn back, however, where a divorce is inevitable this period of time will allow couples to reach agreement on practical arrangements for the future.”

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