Machins Solicitors LLP
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Long desired ‘No fault divorce' to be a reality

Posted: 9th April 2019   In: Family Law

The Justice Secretary David Gauke announced today the archaic divorce laws will be reviewed to end hostility between divorcing couples.

The current position

Couples must divorce on the ground of ‘irretrievable breakdown of the marriage’ established on one of the five following grounds:

This means the petitioning party has to establish one of the above reasons to allow a divorce to proceed. As a result, parties enter a cycle of blame which can be difficult to escape right from the outset.  This leads to problems with co-parenting or dealing with finances amicably.

Only recently the Supreme Court in the case of Owens v Owens reluctantly refused a wife’s application for a divorce recognising however that, ‘this was a matter for parliament’ to review the law.

After many years of lobbying, consultation papers, talks and the endless efforts of professionals involved within the family law arena the law is finally to be changed.

The future position

The only ground for divorce will be the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.  With this being the sole ground it will relieve the unnecessary elements of conflict.

The reforms will be based on:

These changes are to become effective when parliamentary time allows and we will endeavour to provide updates as and when they become available.

If you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of family law, please contact a member of the Family Team in our Berkhamsted or Luton office.

Posted by: Joe Colley
Private Client
Luton Office