At the end of a week where another high profile couple's marital derailment has hit the media headlines, the Telegraph has published this 'good divorce guide'.
Interestingly for all those involved in the field of divorce, this week has also seen the publication by the House of Commons of a paper on 'no fault' divorce. Twenty years ago when the Family Law Act 2006 was passed, we all held our breath that its proposals for the removal of the requirement of fault would be passed. Sadly not: the Act fell at the last hurdle amid fears that it would make divorce "too easy".
This view is not shared by many, including some of the most senior family judiciary in England and Wales: on the contrary, they take the view that if a couple has reached the point where their marriage has irretrievably broken down, how can it help anyone, especially their children, to start apportioning blame. Isn't the key priority for the law to help them separate legally in the fairest and fastest way, with the minimum of collateral damage?
I know that I hold a widely shared hope that this week's paper will finally lead to a long overdue change in the law. Online research commissioned by the family law firm Vardags and carried out by OnePoll found that 85% of people questioned believed no fault divorce – where neither party has to admit wrongdoing – should be available.
42% of first marriages in the UK now end in divorce. Is it possible to part ways without leaving a trail of destruction? While for some a “good divorce” might involve instructing the fiercest divorce lawyer available, for others it’s setting the foundations for future amicable relations. This week TV presenter Zoë Ball& DJ Norman Cook joined their ranks when they announced their split& their decision to live next door to one to each other for their children’s sake. Doing a “Zoë &Norman” might sound ideal, but remaining friends is rarely as straightforward as it seems. Divorce coach Sara Davison says: “Nobody splits if the relationship is working, so there is always some degree of difficulty and conflict to overcome and navigate. So it does take strength of character and hard work to create an environment where this can work.”