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Divorce- Ending the ‘Blame Game’


Justice Secretary David Gauke announced 8th April 2019 that the law will be changed to allow couples to divorce on the grounds that the marriage has broken down without having to make accusations of wrongdoing by one party. At present the law is very black and white, leading to a position where, unless there has been a period of separation of at least two years, one party is at blame and the other party is the victim.

However, this black and white approach isn’t representative of current social norms and doesn’t allow protection for couples who simply fall out of love with each other and no longer wish to be married.

Currently, ‘no-fault’ applications account for a large proportion of divorce petitions each year. However, the law only allows for no-fault divorces to be brought after two years of separation, if both parties agree, or five years of separation, if one party contests the divorce.

The new law will remove the time restraints attached to divorce applications and will include a ‘cooling off’ period to allow each party time for reflection (allowing them to change their minds if they wish).

There has been no date announced for the new law to be brought in but this is seen as a very proactive and much needed step towards change of very outdated legislation.

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