12 September, 2018
It is in the news again this week that Justice Secretary David Gauke is set to announce a consultation on plans for a major change to divorce laws which could see couples being allowed no-fault divorces and spouses losing the right to contest the breakdown of a marriage.
The current law in England and Wales means anyone wanting a divorce must provide evidence that their partner is at fault through adultery, desertion or unreasonable behaviour. Alternatively, a divorce can also be granted after a couple has been separated for more than two years but only if they both consent - if there is a dispute then the only other way forward is for the couple to have been separated for five years.
The existing fault-based divorce system of establishing marriage breakdown could be abolished and the days of being forced to play the blame game in order to get a divorce could soon be over. This would be the first significant change to divorce law in England and Wales in nearly 50 years and will no doubt be welcomed by many in order to alleviate further conflict and antagonism in already difficult and sensitive circumstances.
The proposals will aim to reduce the level of family conflict during the divorce process and protect children from the confrontational nature of the existing system.
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