No Fault Divorce Under Consultation: Nearly every time I see a new client they nod when I explain the only ground for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. I am frequently told that they will “go with that”. When I go on to explain that the irretrievable breakdown must be proven by one of five facts:-
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Separation for 2 years with consent (where both of you consent to the divorce proceeding)
- Separation for five years
I am often met with surprise. Why do we need to specify a reason for the break-down of the marriage?
The majority of petitions I submit to the court are either unreasonable behaviour petitions or separation with consent petitions. Rarely do I find any client relishing the prospect of detailing a list of reasons why the marriage has broken down and that is no surprise. Who would want to lay bare the reasons for their separation unless they absolutely have to? Given that family law practice is evolving towards mediation, arbitration and alternative methods of settlement designed to keep people out of court, the status quo with divorce proceedings remains a fairly bizarre practice.
I am delighted to see that the government will begin consultation for No Fault Divorces and hope that this will mean that reform is implemented. Time will tell. You can read some of the arguments for reform here.
In the meantime, if you want to talk about divorce or separation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me, Alison Cameron, on 01625 850 888, for expert advice. I am not here to judge you, but to advise and represent you and lend a sympathetic ear.