The government are introducing no-fault divorces in a bid to end the divorce ‘blame game’ and make the process faster, simpler and more amicable.
When announcing the plans to reform divorce law, Justice Secretary David Gauke said: “While we will always uphold the institution of marriage, it cannot be right that our outdated law creates or increases conflict between divorcing couples.”
Current grounds for divorce
Existing divorce laws are over 50 years old and have been under fire for being outdated and causing unnecessary further conflict between divorcing couples.
Currently, couples who wish to get a divorce are required under the Matrimonial Causes Act to prove one of the following:
- Unreasonable behaviour.
- Desertion (for 2 years).
- Mutual separation (for 2 years).
- Have lived apart for 5 years (if one party does not agree to the divorce).
The new no-fault divorce
Under the proposed new laws, couples will simply be required to issue a statement saying that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown” of their relationship.
A minimum time frame of six months will be introduced to give couples the opportunity to work things out and change their minds before the divorce is finalised.
Other changes include the option to make a joint application for divorce, and the scrapping of the option to contest proceedings.
There is not yet a date for when the new law will come into effect, but the government have expressed that they are committed to introducing the new changes as soon as possible and expect it to be within the next year.
If you require legal help or advice with any aspect of divorce law, get in touch with our team of specialist solicitors here at Lund Bennett by giving us a call on 0161 927 3118.