Expert Divorce Solicitor Responds to No Fault Divorce Bill

13th October 2015

Conservative MP Richard Bacon presented the No Fault Divorce Bill in the House of Commons today.

The purpose of the No Fault Divorce Bill is to allow marriages and civil partnerships in England & Wales to be dissolved when each party declares that it has irretrievably broken down, with no need to cite adultery, unreasonable behaviour or desertion, in Court.

The current law, called The Divorce Reform Act is now over 45 years old, having been passed in 1969, then brought into force in 1971. This Act brought in a single ground for divorce: that the marriage had “irretrievably broken down”.

However, under The Divorce Reform Act the person applying for the divorce must still prove the irretrievable breakdown through one of five “facts”:

  • That their spouse has committed adultery, and that the person applying for the divorce finds it intolerable to live with them
  • That their spouse has behaved in such a way that they cannot reasonably be expected to live with them
  • That their spouse has deserted them for two years
  • That the parties have lived apart for the past two years and both consent to the divorce
  • That the parties have lived apart for the past five years.

Head of Family Law and Divorce at Co-op Legal Services commented on the Bill, “This is a welcome change across the legal sector. In a society that encourages mediation and putting the needs of children first, it can only be counterproductive to have a system that is based on finding fault.

“It’s more important now than ever that individuals are able to mutually divorce without one party having to take the blame. Whilst there are many divorce cases where couples separate and agree that one party is mainly at fault, our Divorce Solicitors are seeing an increasing number of divorce cases where couples have mutually decided to separate and have no desire to blame each other”.

The No Fault Divorce Bill is scheduled for debate on Friday 4 December 2015, and our Head of Family Law, Tracey Moloney will be providing further comments as the Bill progresses.

For initial legal advice about divorce or separation call our Divorce Solicitors on 01618558357 or contact us online and we will help you.

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