Reasons a No-fault Divorce is Better for Your Kids

On April 6th, several key changes were made to the UK divorce law. In this article we examine no-fault divorce, and why this new divorce law is better for your kids.

As of April 6th 2022, our existing divorce laws were reformed for the benefit of divorcing couples and their children.

Under the new no-fault divorce in the UK, couples can get divorced, or bring their civil partnership to an end, without needing to provide a reason.

Under the old divorce law, divorcing parties needed to provide one of three reasons to explain the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

These reasons included adultery, unreasonable behaviour, or desertion. Only one member of the couple was able to file for divorce, meaning that person had to essentially blame their partner for the failing of the marriage.

In the absence of a reason, couples could only obtain a divorce if both parties consented, and if they had been separated for at least two years.

If one person contested the divorce, a five-year separation period was required.

For many years, the old divorce law was criticised, as many people believed that the system served to add conflict to the process.

For many couples, divorce was a drawn-out and complicated process that could take months or years to complete.

There are many advantages to the no-fault divorce process, including, benefits for the children of divorcees, so take a look…

Why is No-Fault Divorce Better for Your Kids?

  1. A less costly divorce process

In the past, divorce proceedings had the potential to be very expensive, putting significant financial strain on a family.

Under the flawed system, divorce processes were often drawn out for a very long time. Parents will need to adjust their living arrangements and costs, adapting to the new situation.

Couples who are applying for a no-fault divorce will still need to go through the process of arranging their financial settlements and childcare arrangements orders (meaning the amount of time it takes to get divorced can vary).

Regardless, the new no-fault divorce process can offer couples quicker, and therefore less expensive divorce proceedings.

Experiencing a financially difficult time can have a negative effect on any children involved. So, accessing less expensive divorce proceedings can benefit the whole family during this tense time.

  1. No- fault divorce limits conflict

Under the old UK divorce law, one member of the couple had to point blame at the other, whether desertion, unreasonable behaviour or adultery. Naturally, in some marriages, none of these circumstances would have occurred, yet to apply for a divorce one person had to be blamed.

Blaming one partner can give rise to conflict, making an already stressful situation much worse. When there’s tension between two parents, the negative atmosphere can have an adverse effect on their children.

One of the main reasons that the no-fault divorce law was reformed was to lessen conflict for divorcing couples and their children. No-fault divorce is better for children because there’s less potential for friction, arguments, and lengthy periods of stress.

  1. Streamlined divorce process

Simply put, no-fault divorce allows divorcing couples to access a faster divorce process, removing many of the complications that couples were subjected to under the old divorce law.

With a streamlined divorce process, couples and their children can move forward with their lives, quicker. Going through a divorce can be an emotionally difficult time, which is why it’s far better for the couple and their children to get the process over and done with.

Besides these benefits for the children of divorcing couples, there are many other benefits of getting a no-fault divorce. Firstly, divorcing parties are now able to end a relationship, without drawing attention to personal issues, or any negativity that took place during the marriage. 

Previously, if one member of the couple did not want to get divorced, this made the process incredibly complicated. Under the new law, there is no longer an option to contest the divorce and slow down the proceedings.

  1. Shift the focus

When you’re going through conflict-stricken divorce proceedings, you’ll find that this takes up a lot of your energy and time. Unfortunately, being distracted by lengthy divorce proceedings means that divorcees end up focusing less on their children.

Even if couples have managed to remain civil throughout the divorce processes, arranging child custody is a tense time, and both parties will need to agree on what’s best for their children. No-fault divorce offers couples an easier divorce process, allowing them to shift the focus back to their children at a time when their children need them the most. 

  1. Protect your children

Previously to April 6th, couples were encouraged to assign blame and. under these circumstances, children might end up hearing their parents speak negatively of each other.

Younger children may have a harder time understanding what’s going on, and so you’ll need to be patient with them during this time. Older children may be more likely to express anger and, again, it’s imperative that you remain sensitive to their emotions and their needs.

To support your children during divorce, it’s best to leave them out of any discussions about the situation. Hearing parents lay blame on one another can have an adverse effect on a child’s mental health. This is why it’s vital that divorcing parties shield their kids as much as possible.

The Advantages of No-Fault Divorce for Kids

As we’ve discussed, no-fault divorce has many advantages for the children involved. Under the new no-fault divorce law, couples can reduce the conflict associated with divorce proceedings and protect their children’s mental health. 

These divorce proceedings offer a streamlined process in comparison to the old divorce law, allowing both parents and their children to move on quicker.

With shorter divorce processes, parents can potentially access cheaper divorces, and use these savings to support their kids, during this tough time.

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