Family & Divorce

Impact of the recent changes to divorce law

Since April 2022, the long awaited divorce reforms mean that getting a divorce is no longer a blame or waiting game.

31 Aug 2022

Team name
Sally Ward

Sally Ward

Getting divorced

Getting divorced is in itself an emotionally charged time and having to find fault with the other party or waiting for 2 or more years would drive a wedge between them from the start or resurrect ill feeling, making it difficult to set the scene for negotiating a financial settlement or child arrangements.

The new law also allows a couple to apply for the divorce jointly and we are finding that many couples choose this option, especially if both have agreed that marriage is over.

Choosing the right options for you

These reforms have created a better opportunity for focusing on resolving disputes and conflicts about the finances and children. With the waiting times for court hearings getting increasingly longer, it is in the interests of both parties and their children to try to reach an agreement without going to court and there are now more options than ever for doing so. A good starting point is to get sound legal advice on those options so that you can decide which is best for you.

Reaching an agreement

The law encourages parents to agree arrangements for their children without going to court.

However, do not be tempted to reach a financial settlement without getting it endorsed as a court order by consent, as without a court order you’re leaving yourself open to your ex making financial claims against you in the future. If you are applying to court for a consent order, it will be dealt with on paper and you will not need to attend any court hearings.

Whilst many couples choose to deal with the divorce themselves, you should seek legal advice before you finalise any financial agreement. The law entitles both of you to full details of the other’s finances and you should ensure that you have that information before you agree a settlement. Do not be tempted to ignore pensions, which can often be a very valuable asset to share or offset against the family home and may need expert advice to ensure that that true value is taken into account.

M&P Commentary

Sally Ward, Head of the Family team, said:

“We often see clients who do not see pensions as important to a settlement or who have been persuaded by their ex not to bother with them. We also see clients who have been divorced for a while but done nothing about finalising the financial settlement with a consent order, when their ex has resurrected the financial claims. This can result in unfair settlement and it is essential that you get expert advice early on and make sure that all assets are shared fairly, then finalise the settlement with a consent order.”

OUR CLIENTS SAY ABOUT US

Ranked highly in Romford and Brentwood for solicitor firms

Family
The service I received from Allison was exceptional. Always highly professional and informative.
Virginia
Wills
Mullis and Peake are very efficient, professional and friendly company to deal with. Excellent service throughout.
Brian
Employment
Excellent, swift service from Esther at Mullis & Peake. Showed clear expertise in her field & walked me through everything patiently & thoroughly.
Dan
Company and Commercial
I found the service provided was excellent from start to finish, with our requirements met in a timely manner throughout.
Gary
Wills
Staff very helpful and friendly. Trudi was easy to talk to and to understand the procedure.
Pamela
Dispute resolution
We contacted Martyn to deal with a sensitive Will dispute and we can’t thank him enough for his commitment and hard work.
Salena
Residential Property
Very prompt. Experienced. Expert. Friendly.
Trevor
Commercial Property
Excellent service and far quicker than previous negotiations using a different solicitor.
John
Family
At all times I was kept informed about the progress of the case and everything was completed in a timely fashion.
Melanie
Personal Injury
Martyn undertook and guided me through the lengthy process [of a personal injury case], and after much work, achieved a successful result.
Shirley

Related News insights

Legal, Wills & Power of Attorney
10 Myths about Wills and Probate
Court of Protection, Legal
Probate Service in Crisis
Employment Advice, Legal
What Does a Labour Government Mean For Employment Law?
Charity & Fundraising, Mullis & Peake
LawNet Challenge 2024 – Completed!