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News: Calls for ‘No Blame’ Changes in Divorce and Separation Cases

Posted on 8th September 2015 by Goodwins Family Law Solicitors

Divorces that are mutually agreed upon should not require a court visit from the involved couple, according to Sir James Munby, the UK’s most senior family judge. Sir Munby also called for unmarried couples to have the same rights as married couples when it comes to separating. Currently, if a relationship between two cohabitants ends, there is no service from the court that redistributes the matrimonial assets between the two individuals as there is when a married couple files for divorce. “This is an injustice that has been recognised as long as I have been in the law. Reform is desperately needed.”

Since April 22nd, the law has required most couples who wish to issue proceedings to undergo mediation sessions to try and reach agreement before they take the case to court. This aims to prevent couples taking their cases straight to court, which can prove to be expensive, especially if the case becomes protracted. The avoidance of mediation can also put undue pressure on the court system, Sir Munby added. He also rejected claims that such legal changes would undermine the integrity of marriage, and said it would bring ‘intellectual honesty to the process’.

One of Sir Munby’s reasons for calling for this stark change in
the modern divorce process was what he saw as “many adults and children… live in families more or less removed from what, until comparatively recently, would have been recognised as the typical nuclear family.” He drew attention to what he called a ‘striking decline’ in marriage rates, meaning there are more couples who are devoid of most rights if they separate. A problem that he highlighted was that of women with wealthy partners who have not married. They may have made similar sacrifices to married women – foregoing a career to raise children, for example, yet if the relationship were to break down then they would not be entitled to anything.

Goodwins Family Law Solicitors

Goodwins Family Law are specialists in all aspects of divorce and separation cases, including informal, formal, judicial and divorce. By talking to us, you can benefit from expert advice that is sensitive, professional, helpful and realistic, so you know exactly what you can expect from any proceedings. We have vast experience in divorce and matrimonial law, and we will work hard to reach a solution that is agreeable for both parties. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today to find out more.


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Goodwins Family Law Solicitors is a leading London based law firm specialising in divorce and family law for clients in London, the UK and internationally. View more information about our services:


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