There are many causes worth getting behind in the world, but very few of those are in family law. So it was refreshing to read the Resolution Manifesto for Family Law and see the call for a change in the law to allow people to divorce without blame. This is something I feel we should all get behind, especially family law solicitors.
Getting divorced quickly is often seen as a plus, but not if you fail to sort out the finances as this case study shows.
Divorce is an extremely emotional and difficult step in anyone’s lives. None of us ever imagine whilst standing at the altar or during that dream wedding in the Seychelles that ultimately it will end up as an acrimonious divorce. The question is does it have to be that way, does it have to be a battle or can a couple remain friends when they divorce? The simple answer to that is no, it doesn’t have to be horribly acrimonious, and yes, it is possible to keep your relationship with your ex friendly. But it all depends on your attitude and that of your spouse – and of course the approach taken by your lawyer.
As a family law solicitor I am often in the unfortunate position of having to tell people who’ve lived together for many years that they could be made homeless by their partner and have no opportunity to claim any share of what they have considered to be the family home. As I have to explain unmarried couples do not have the same legal rights or protection as their married counter parts. And I think that needs to change.
The most recent ONS data on marriage and divorce revealed a fact as divorce lawyers we are all too aware of - divorce is on the up, and the increase is being driven by a rise in divorce amongst older people. Whilst the increase in overall divorce rates might be small we have observed over a number of years the rise in divorce amongst older couples. An inevitable rise you might say as divorce has become more socially accepted and changes in lifestyles and opportunities mean couples feel less obliged to stay together in an unhappy marriage.