Parliament to consider divorce without fault.

There is currently only one ground which can be used when petitioning for divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership, this being “that the marriage has broken down irretrievably”. This ‘irretrievable breakdown’ can be proved by relying on one of five facts. At present however, three of these facts (adultery, unreasonable behaviour and desertion) require you to blame your spouse for the breakdown of the marriage, thereby allocating fault to one person.

The other two facts require that either you live apart for 2 years, or in the case that one of you does not agree to the divorce, that you live apart for more than 5 years.

The Family Law Act 1996 attempted to introduce a no-fault ground for divorce based on a statement confirming that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. This was however scrapped in 2001 as ‘unworkable’.

Now a new attempt at the introduction of ‘no-fault divorce’ attempts to create a new ground for divorce where each party makes a declaration that the marriage has irretrievably broken down; much like the statement introduced by The Family Law Act 1996. This is expected to be considered in Parliament later on this year.

At present however, we are left with a system whereby if you require a divorce, you must blame your spouse for the breakdown of the marriage, or you must have been separated for at least 2 years. At Jordans Solicitors, our specialist team of family lawyers can help you begin divorce proceedings and identify how to proceed. Call us in confidence on 033 03001103 for expert advice on your divorce matters.


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