No fault divorce – changes to legislation are coming

Currently there is no such thing as a no fault divorce, the only ground for divorce is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and to apply for a divorce you have to rely on one of five facts:-

  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Adultery
  • Two years separation with consent
  • Two years desertion
  • Five years separation (no consent needed)

As no fault divorce doesn’t exist at the moment it means that unless a couple has been separated for two years or more if either party wishes to divorce before the two years they would have to issue proceedings based upon the others unreasonable behaviour or adultery.

A lot of clients are shocked when we tell them that a no fault divorce isn’t available and that even if both parties accept that the marriage is over an element of blame will need to be assigned to one party unless they wait for the two years.

Clients can be worried that applying divorce with blame attached to the other party will inflame matters or mean that it wont be as easy to sort out arrangements for the children or finances.

However, once the reform happens and the divorce laws are overhauled there will be a new procedure for a no fault divorce where one or both parties only has to state that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. The divorce can proceed and after a period of six months if either or both parties think they have made the right decision then the divorce can be finalised.

All the solicitors in our family department here at Chafes Hague Lambert are members of Resolution and are committed to helping clients deal with matters in a way that reduces conflict as much as possible.

For more information or to make an appointment for your free initial consultation you can call the office that is most suitable to you.

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