Commons Report: No Fault Divorce? Not Yet

by | May 18, 2017 | 0 comments

Commons Report: No Fault Divorce? Not Yet

The recent commons library briefing once gain relegates the introduction of no fault divorce in England & Wales to an afterthought of the wider reforms needed to the family court system.

Once again an opportunity to discuss the introduction of no fault divorce and the far reaching influence this could have on family law matters in England & Wales has been missed.

For most families the end of a marriage is traumatic enough. This is often compounded by the fact that one spouse essentially needs to either blame their spouse for the end of the marriage or wait for a period of at least two years before seeking a legal end to a marriage or civil partnership.

This situation is made even worse when children are involved, where the blaming of one party can have far reaching consequences for the entire family for many years to come.

Current basis for divorce

At present the only ground for divorce is the irretrievable break down of a marriage/civil partnership.

The person applying must then show the court that one of five facts, three of which are fault based (adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion) and two of which relate to periods of separation (2 and 5 years) has taken place.

What we are finding is that by starting the divorce process from a position of blame often results in a shadow being cast over the whole process for those involved.

More importantly confusion as to the reasons for divorce often cause unnecessary delays to divorce applications which are not ideal for the couples involved or the court.


Louise Hudson:18 May, 2017.

Louise Hudson is head of legal operations at

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