Welcome to the first in a new series of krysallis blogs featuring guest contributions from our team of associates.

Madeleine Kingsley – our couples counselor and family therapist – focuses on the impact of divorce and separation in a 2 part blog series which draws on her professional experience and recent media attention on the call by Baroness Hale for changes in the law…

‘soothe the sting and take the blame out of breaking up’…

Divorce is invariably a contract of grief – a tumultuous life event whether you are the one doing the leaving or the one left behind.  But the country’s most senior woman judge now has a plan to soothe its sting and take the blame out of breaking up.  Baroness Hale has called, this month, for a change in the law so that, when petitioning for divorce, you’d no longer need to cite a specific ‘fault’ such as adultery , unreasonable behavior, desertion or irreconcilable differences. Instead there’d be a yearlong cooling off period in which to make practical arrangements.  Lady Hale’s view is that this legal overhaul would end protracted court battles and reduce hostility between separating partners.

So far, so rational, but is it actually possible for the law to act as a moderating  influence on hearts and minds? How many of the 120,000 couples divorcing each year manage to keep hurt, loss and anger in check whilst facing the end of their relationships? Family law solicitors increasingly encourage the collaborative divorce process where, instead of going to court, both partners and their lawyers meet in an office to forge an amicable split.  It’s a welcome advance, but it doesn’t always work, and it won’t necessarily stop spouses struggling with bitterness, regret or a debilitating sense of injustice…  to be continued…