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Divorce process 'must change to remove conflict'

Wed 27 Apr 2016

A family law organisation has called for the divorce process to be overhauled to make it more amicable for both parties.

Ex-footballer and broadcaster Gary Lineker recently hit the headlines by telling the Radio Times that a mathematical equation to help couples divorce quickly should be created.

This, he said, would help a settlement be reached without causing both parties to "basically end up hating each other".

Responding to the comments, Nigel Shepherd of Resolution accepted that changes could be made to reduce the element of conflict in the divorce process.

However, he said it is not always possible for people to get everything finalised quickly or amicably, in which case legal advice can be "invaluable".

Mr Shepherd stated that even when there is significant agreement from the outset, or if an agreement is reached through mediation, couples can benefit from independent advice from a family law solicitor.

He said Resolution agrees with Mr Lineker's view that "there should be clearer guidance about financial provision upon divorce, so that people understand the potential outcomes and consequences of any settlement reached".

This, he noted, is one of the main points it has stressed in its Manifesto for Family Law.

Mr Shepherd went on to state that it is important for any reforms to protect vulnerable people and offer "clarity without a straitjacket".

He added that the divorce process does not need to pit people against each other and force one person to blame their former spouse for the breakdown of their marriage.

Katie Spooner, a senior associate at Winckworth Sherwood, commented: "We have a non-fault based process in England and Wales to deal with divorcing couples finances yet we still have a fault based divorce system which starts the process off and raises the temperature and hostility from the outset. This needs to change."

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