There has been a recent campaign to change the law to allow couples to have a ‘no fault divorce’ without a period of separation.
Current law on divorce
Currently, it is not possible for a couple to have a ‘no fault divorce’ unless the couple have:
- Separated for at least 2 years and both parties consent to a divorce.
- One spouse has deserted the other spouse for at least 2 years.
- Separated for at least 5 years separation without the consent of the other spouse.
If none of these requirements are met, the couple will have to wait or divorce based on the other spouse’s adultery or unreasonable behaviour. This is known as a ‘fault based divorce’.
The Government has revealed that there are not planning to change the law.
House of Lords spokesperson Lord Keen of Elie (Richard Keen QC) was asked whether the Government had plans to review the current law and stated that:
‘Whilst we have no current plans to change the existing law on divorce, we are considering what further reforms to the family justice system may be needed.’
Family lawyers are disappointed by the Government’s reaction to the campaign.
David Kirkman, a specialist family lawyer at Jordans, stated:
‘It is disappointing that the Government is not actively trying to act in the best interests of separating couples. Many clients are unaware and surprised by the fact that they have to wait 2 years to divorce unless they attribute blame to the other spouse’.
Jordans Solicitors are based in Wakefield, Dewsbury and Horsforth.