No-Fault Divorce, a Step Closer

“No-fault divorce would help to remove an unnecessary process which simply makes life more complicated.” Sir James Munby

Those who experience the breakdown of any marriage can empathise with the fact that divorce is a sad, stressful time and can often create a hostile environment for the parties involved. As it stands, to be granted a divorce, it is mandatory to prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, through citing one of the five legally recognised reasons for marital breakdown; unreasonable behaviour, desertion, adultery, two years separation and five years separation. However, in light of recent developments, divorce law prepares itself for a monumental overhaul, which would facilitate a move towards the no fault divorce.

Developments?

Following the controversial decision by the Supreme Court in Owens, Baroness Butler-Sloss has led the way with the introduction of a Lords Private Members Bill, which requires the Lord Chancellor to review the current law. Such a review would include consideration of whether the law ought to be changed so that the irretrievable breakdown of a divorce is amended to predominately administrative process. Additionally, the Ministry of Justice most recently published a consultation paper ‘Reform of the legal requirments for divorce’. It asks for views on replacing the current requirements with a process based on notification.

What does this mean for you?

If Parliament decides to act on this matter, a no-fault divorce would allow couples who have naturally grown apart to end on amicable terms. Not only would this be less stressful for the parties involved, but also reduce the harmful impact a breakdown can have on children and families who become embroiled in the process of a fault based divorce.

Hopefully, when a number of our representatives are called upon to deal with the law on divorce in the near future, they can step into a more contemporary form of law, which makes the process far more amenable.

If you have any questions or would like some advice on divorce, please call our matrimonial team on 0800 158 4147 and we can book you an initial consultation. Initial Consultations are charged at £75.00 plus VAT (£90.00) for 45 minutes.

Article prepared by Luke Stephens


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