It’s a great day in Divorce Club Towers! A no-fault divorce law is round the corner!
Justice Secretary, David Gauke has confirmed that he will be bringing in the legislation for the reform.
This means that there will no longer be a need to dish out blame for the end of a marriage, citing reasons such as unreasonable behaviour or adultery. Nor will separating couples have to wait, like Tini Owens, for years to be legally divorced.
The current system: the blame game
The current system means that when a marriage irretrievably breaks down it has to be evidenced by one of five reasons:
- unreasonable behaviour,
- a mutual 2 year separation,
- or if one partner does not agree, a five year separation.
The Tini Owens case is a high profile example of when the current law can imprison people in a marriage. The supreme court ruled in 2018 that she could not use unreasonable behaviour as a ground for divorce and therefore had to wait for five years to elapse before she could legally separate.
Despite the fact Ms Owens was trapped in an unhappy marriage, she was legally unable to leave it.
Since this ruling the pressure for no-fault divorce has been mounting. So today’s happy news means that cases like Tini Owens will be a thing of the past.
Now a no fault divorce law is round the corner!
We are thrilled. At Divorce Club we meet lots of people who are already in emotional turmoil who have needlessly been put through more distress by having to formalise blame for their ex partner.
No-one who gets married wants divorce, but the reality is that around half the population’s marriages will fail. Anything that can help that half divorce like adults with dignity and compassion is a plus in our book.
Our legal system should not be making divorce more combative and traumatic than it already has the potential to be. A no fault divorce law will take away at least one area of suffering.
We aren’t the only ones to be pleased that a no fault divorce law is finally coming.
Speaking in response, Nigel Shepherd, former Chair of Resolution, said:
“Our members, and the families they work with, will be delighted that, after years of campaigning, we are now so close to ending the ‘blame game’ that many divorcing couples are currently forced to play.
“There is clearly much detail still to agree, and we’ll be providing Ministers and officials with all the support we can to help this new legislation come forward, and be enacted, as soon as possible.”
The news was also welcomed by law firms and individuals up and down the country.
“Fantastic news today about no fault divorce. Reform is long overdue.”Kingsley Napley Family
“We’re a step closer to no-fault divorce, ending protracted courtroom battles.Punch Robson
“Great news. An end to the blame game is in sight.”Huw Thomas
“It means the focus will become one of a positive future rather than dwelling perhaps on an unhappy marriage”Chris Longbottom.
“The news re no fault divorce has been coming. In practical terms it won’t change the need to get good advice re the financial aspects of divorce but ti should help to remove acrimony in difficult relationship breakdowns.”Coles Miller Family Law
“Thrilled to see this in the news this morning!”Colette Bane
We look forward to seeing this reform enacted and hope it will pave the way for much easier divorces in future.
Lucy and Isabelle
Read more about the fab news here:
See also “no blame divorces – when will the law finally catch up?”
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