Lawyers Put Pressure on the Government to Introduce “No Fault Divorces”
It was recently reported that family lawyers have been gathering outside Parliament to put pressure on the government to introduce “no fault divorces”.
Family Lawyers appear to agree that divorce law needs modernising to allow for the possibility of ‘no fault divorces’. If ‘no fault divorces’ were introduced, then many in the legal profession predict that there would be a rise in mediation and a drop in the amount of couples issuing Court proceedings: both in relation to children and financial matters.
Many clients find it difficult to understand why they should have to blame the other party to a divorce, particularly if the parties have remained amicable since separation. Of course, a party is forced to wait for two years if they are opposed to issuing a petition on the grounds of the other parties unreasonable behaviour.
When parties separate amicably, it puts them in a difficult position if they are forced to blame the other party and this can often impact on the stance the other party takes moving forward. As a result, they may take a more hardened stance when children and financial issues need to be resolved. This can then often lead to the parties becoming embroiled in Court proceedings they had intended to avoid. This in turn can lead to them both spending matrimonial money they could have otherwise avoided spending on lawyers.
At present, if you want to divorce, but have been separated for less than two years, you have to issue a petition on the basis of Unreasonable Behaviour or Adultery. In respect of an Unreasonable Behaviour petition, the parties could technically sit down and agree what to put in the petition (to try to retain their amicable relationship). Alternatively, one party has to decide upon what to put in the statement of case in order to provide the Judge with enough examples of the other parties faults to convince him/her that they are entitled to a divorce. Of course, the first option makes a mockery of the divorce process but the second leads to conflict that could have otherwise been avoided. Neither is ideal.
Figures show that around 60% of divorces are filed on the basis of Adultery or Unreasonable Behaviour. However, this figure misrepresents the fact that given a choice many couples would have avoided issuing on either of those grounds.
So the question remains as to why it is still necessary to have to blame an ex-spouse in order to secure a divorce to enable both parties to move on with their lives.
At Ringrose Law we have a specialist team that can advise on any matters relating to Family Law contact or call into one of our offices in Boston, Lincoln, Spalding, Sleaford, Grantham or Newark.