NO FAULT Divorce – Does this exist?

Scissors cutting paper family

Divorce is often a time of battle and anguish. It puts families under pressure and there are all sorts of issues to sort out.

  1. Deal with the finances
  2. Limiting the impact on your children

Here at Watson Legal we are empathetic to your situation and aim to make the process as stress-free as possible.

There are a lot couples that have mutually agreed that their marriage is over. Unfortunately, divorce law at present can potentially make things worse for couples, forcing one party to blame the other, unless the couple are willing to wait two years to apply for divorce and they both consent.

The grounds for divorce are as follows:

  1. That your partner has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with them;
  1. That your partner’s behaviour is intolerable to live with;
  1. That your partner has deserted you for at least two years;
  1. You have separated for at least two years and your partner consents to the divorce;
  1. You have separated for at least five years.

Therefore the only immediate ground for divorce is either your spouse’s unreasonable behaviour or adultery. This can cause unnecessary distress to the parties involved, making an already difficult process even harder. The only alternative is waiting for two years if both parties consent. For many, waiting two years to sort out finances is not a feasible option.

This seems particularly meaningless and unfair given that the reasons for divorce make no difference to any financial settlement or children arrangement – the reasons are simply to allow the divorce to continue to the next procedural stage.

So in short, does a no fault divorce exist? Well yes! If you are willing and able to wait two years.

Do you think the law should be changed?

There has been a No Fault Divorce Bill, which has been debated in Parliament since 2015 so pending the outcome of deliberations, we may see some reforms in the not so distant future.

There is an argument that a no fault divorce damages the institution of marriage. If parties can divorce easily would this lead to parties not trying to reconcile their differences and working on their marriage? Would divorce no longer be the last resort, but the first option or an easy solution

We are open to your thoughts and suggestions and we would love to hear from you.

If you have any questions about this information or if you would like to book an initial free 30 minute consultation, then please do not hesitate contact us on 01279 466910 or email info@watson-legal.com.

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