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Decoding divorce

Date:29 MAR 2016
Third slide
For those adjusting to life after separation thoughts might now be turning to the technical aspects of the divorce itself and they may find themselves bewildered by the challenges this process presents.

Last week as I was explaining the divorce procedure to a client it struck me again (as it does every time I go through the process with a new client) how archaic and bound up in legal jargon it is. Notwithstanding the recent and sudden increase in the court fee for issuing divorce proceedings (the fee went up to £550 on 21 March 2016 with only 2 days' notice to family law professionals) divorce should be universally accessible to everyone who needs it. Fundamentally the divorce process is primarily one of form-filling. However these forms are being completed by vulnerable people at one of the most difficult times in their lives and should therefore be as straightforward and comprehensible as possible. The system should be such that it alleviates difficulties rather than increasing rancour between separated couples.

There are two fundamental problems with the divorce process. The first...

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