No-fault divorces could be set to feature in UK law

Couples could soon be allowed to divorce without mutually agreeing or allocating blame.

No fault divorces are on the road to replacing courtroom shoot-outs that many couples dread during the procedure of filing for divorce.

The justice secretary confirmed that he will be introducing legislation enacting the reform in the next parliament session, removing the requirement for couples going through divorce to wait long periods of time as well as deciding who is to blame for the breakdown.

The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 states that anyone who is looking for divorce must prove adultery, desertion or ‘unreasonable behaviour’ and once this has been proved you can divorce after two years of being separated.

In the absence of mutual consent or evidence of adultery or unreasonable behaviour, applicants have to wait until they have lived separately for five years.

No fault divorce first reared its head within the Family Law Act of 1996, however this was later decided to be illogical and the act was repealed. It’s been supported by members of the judiciary and lawyers alike.

Nigel Shepherd, a former chairman of the family law organisation Resolution, said it was clear the responses to the consultation had shown overwhelming support for the reform “and we’re pleased the government are so firmly behind it”.

He added: “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.”

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