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Divorce laws woefully outdated says lawyers group

Under current law, fault must be assigned to secure a divorce unless the couple has been living apart for at least two years. This is the case even if both parties agree to the divorce. Grounds for divorce under these circumstances are either adultery or unreasonable behaviour. Although the latter can be interpreted very broadly, lawyers have called for an end to fault-based divorce in such situations. Enabling no-fault divorce would significantly reduce the burden on the family court system, and would facilitate mediation outside the courts. Jo Edwards of Resolution commented, “We still have this charade of having to assign blame if you want a divorce and haven’t been separated for at least two years – even if both spouses agree their marriage is at an end.” Resolution is not the only body to call for no-fault divorce, with a string of other judges and advocacy groups making the same point in recent months. Some 120,000 couples divorce each year in England and Wales, and the requirement to assign blame means that the process is often unnecessarily acrimonious, with implications for children.
Baroness Hale of Richmond, a leading Family judge, made the case for no-fault divorce 20 years ago and reiterated her point early in April. Whilst making it easier for couples to divorce if they want to, she has also called for reforms that will ensure that arrangements for finances and children are made as part of the divorce. “We should make it take longer to get a divorce and encourage people to sort out what happens to the home, children, money before, rather than after, they get a divorce.”Have you been affected by a separation or divorce? Talk to us. We are experienced family law specialists and can give you the expert advice you need. Call 01302 320621 for a confidential discussion with one of our friendly team.

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