13 August 2018 | Comment | Article by Adrienne Donneky

Should 'no-fault divorce' be introduced in England and Wales?

Following the recent Owens v Owens case, we wanted to know your opinion on no-fault divorce.

We asked our @HughJamesLegal Twitter followers: 

Do you think the law should be changed to make divorce easier, with a spouse able to end their marriage at any time after one year of separation without apportioning blame?

The results are in, and 77% of people who participated in our poll believe that the law should be changed to make divorce easier, with a spouse able to end their marriage at any time after one year of separation without apportioning blame.

Our survey participants are not alone in their view that there is a need for no-fault divorce to be introduced in England and Wales. As the dust begins to settle following the judgement in Owens v Owens, it is perhaps time to reflect and consider where the law may go now.

Resolution, an organisation committed to non-confrontational divorce, are clear in their recommendation to Parliament that reform should remain firmly on the agenda. Indeed, implementing no-fault divorce would bring England and Wales in line with the law in Scotland. The campaign for no-fault divorce has been strengthened by a private member’s bill designed to reform divorce which Resolution has called on the government to support. However the date of the second reading of the bill is yet to be confirmed, and with the summer recess upon us and the government preoccupied with Brexit, it may be some time before the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision can be fully realised.

Whilst reform may be in the pipeline, spouses seeking a divorce continue at present to be bound by the current law. The expert family lawyers here at Hugh James can assist you in the drafting of your divorce petition, to ensure that the appropriate balance is reached between allegations of behaviour being strong enough to avoid the petition being dismissed, whilst not prejudicing an amicable resolution of your financial and children issues.

If you would like more information or expert advice, please contact the family team. 

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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