No Fault Divorce Motion Could Prompt Change


In recent years there have been increasing calls for change to the divorce process in England and Wales. The rules might be about to start changing as on October 13th we'll see a 10 minute rule motion going ahead on the highly contested topic of no fault divorce.

No Fault Divorce Motion Could Prompt Change

Increasing Calls for Change

The current system requires that a married couple must state that their marriage has irretrievably broken down by proving 1 of 5 reasons.

This includes:

  • unreasonable behaviour;
  • adultery;
  • desertion;
  • 2 years separation with consent;
  • or 5 years separation without

This leaves many couples either waiting out the 2 years so that they don't need to apportion blame, or resulting in citing either unreasonable behaviour or adultery. It's argued that this need to rely on a fault basis is increasing unnecessary animosity and conflict between divorcing couples.

Helen Doolan, our Family Law Solicitor based in Leeds, is a member of Resolution. Resolution is the national organisation of family lawyers promoting a constructive, non-confrontational approach to family disputes. Part of Resolution's campaign Changing Family Law for Changing Families focuses on the call for no fault divorce.

Helen explains why no fault divorce could benefit families;

"The current divorce law makes it very difficult for couples to divorce without apportioning blame. Couples are often forced to dig up old disputes in order to apportion blame for the purpose of divorce, when it could possibly have been resolved amicably."

"This is out of touch with modern society's views and only serves to make the already difficult divorce process more distressing for everyone involved, especially any children of the family."

The 10 Minute Rule Motion

MP Mr Richard Bacon is bringing forward the 10 minute motion, and he will be proposing to; "Bring in a Bill to make provision for the dissolution of a marriage or civil partnership when each party has separately made a declaration that the marriage or civil partnership has irretrievably broken down without a requirement by either party to satisfy the Court of any other facts."

We at Simpson Millar LLP hope to see a relaxation of the current law on divorce to help make the process less acrimonious and less distressing for those involved.

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