Decoding divorce: Barcan+Kirby signs up to national research

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If you follow the news about the changing nature of relationships and families, you won’t be amazed to learn that 42% of marriages end in divorce.

This statistic may not carry the shock value in 2016 that it would have done in 1996. But what is somewhat surprising is the distinct lack of divorce law research in the UK since the 1990s, when it became clear that the jump in divorce rates during the 70s and 80s wasn’t going away.

Therefore, we’ve decided to get involved with an anonymised study by the University of Exeter, which will follow the journeys of people going through divorce over the next year.

The aim of the project, called ‘Finding Fault’ is to explore how the current divorce law works in practice and whether there is space for reform.

Divorce in practice

Currently, the law requires divorcing couples who haven’t been separated for more than two years to prove that one of the partners has committed a fault. Examples could include adultery, domestic abuse or substance misuse.

Couples who want to divorce without any of these grounds must live apart for two years and both agree to the divorce. If one partner doesn’t agree, the wait is five years.

Participating in this project will give our clients the option to give feedback on this major area of the law based on how it has affected their lives. Similarly, our team of experienced family lawyers will also be involved in the study, giving their perspective on how divorce works in practice.

Commenting on his team’s participation in the research, Jim Gridley, Partner at Barcan+Kirby, said:

“As one of the largest family law firms in the South West, with an eye on the future legal landscape we are keen for our lawyers and clients’ views and experiences to be heard.

If we can help shape the national conversation about divorce through our involvement in this research then it will be time well spent. We look forward to seeing the results when they are published.”

Further information

If you’d like to speak to one of our family solicitors in Bristol about divorce, separation or any aspect of family law, call us on 0117 325 2929 or complete our online enquiry form.


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