Details of a Government consultation on no-fault divorce have just emerged which should improve the process of divorce going forwards.
David Gauke, the justice secretary is expected to launch the consultation shortly. He previously acknowledged that the argument for reforming divorce is “strong”
Under current law, to obtain a divorce either spouse must prove fault through adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, or if both spouses agree after two years of separation. If there is no consent or evidence of fault, the applicant must wait until the couple have been living apart for five years.
It is estimated that two thirds of divorcing couples use one of the fault grounds, and family lawyers have long understood that this commonly increases acrimony for the family during an already stressful time.
The issue came to the fore in July when the Supreme Court ruled that in her case, 68 year old Tini Owens could not divorce her husband until a period of five years’ separation had elapsed in 2020, thus trapping her in an unhappy loveless marriage.
Graeme Fraser, Partner at North London firm OGR Stock Denton LLP is a member of Resolution’s Family Law Reform Group, which is spearheading the campaign to modernise family law. He comments:
“This news could prove to be the catalyst for long overdue divorce law reform in England and Wales. Removing blame from the process would hugely assist couples in their attempts to resolve matters avoiding needless conflict and damage to family relationships. The government urgently needs to introduce measures to improve the divorce process and modernise family law”.
The experienced and specialist Family Law team at OGR Stock Denton LLP can deal rapidly with all queries in relation to separation and divorce in order to resolve matters as effectively and efficiently as possible.