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Law Articles

The divorce blame game 10/04/2019

Under the current rules, if parties wish to divorce straightaway, they must do so based on a) one party's adultery with the party at fault confessing to such adultery or b) on the basis of one party's alleged behavior which has led to the breakdown of the marriage. With either option blame is apportioned by one party onto the other. The only other options available are for the parties to wait for a period of separation for two or five years.

The divorce process is to be overhauled with the "blame game" coming to an end. The Justice Secretary has announced that he will bring forward legislation to introduce a "no-fault divorce" and reduce family conflict.

The Justice Secretary Gauke said: 'Hostility and conflict between parents leave their mark on children and can damage their life chances. While we will always uphold the institution of marriage, it cannot be right that our outdated law creates or increases conflict between divorcing couples.'

Under the new legislation couples who wish to get divorced will no longer have to allege fault in order to obtain a divorce. Instead, there will be a requirement for a party to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown.

The current stages of divorce, being Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute, will remain and there will be a minimum timeframe introduced of six months from the date of the Divorce Petition to the date of Decree Absolute.

The new law and changes will be introduced as soon as possible and when parliamentary time will allow.

This change follows the Supreme Court's rejection to a woman's appeal for divorce. Her husband refused to agree to the divorce on the grounds that she was unhappy. Her appeal was rejected which has resulted in the couple having to remain married until 2020.

For further information and advice on this issue, and other family law issues, please contact us for a free initial consultation on 01992 306 616 or 0207 956 2740 or email us.

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