An overwhelming majority vote by MP’s on 8 June 2020, brought a ‘no fault divorce’ in England and Wales another step closer.
Currently, there is one ground for divorce and that is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. To prove this, a Petitioner must be able to rely upon 1 of 5 facts which include unreasonable behaviour, adultery, desertion, 2 years separation with consent or 5 years separation.
Under the proposed law, couples will only have to state that the marriage has ‘irretrievably broken down’ removing any need for blame and, creating a more conciliatory and amicable approach.
The proposals also remove the possibility of contesting decisions to divorce and introduces a new option, allowing couples to jointly apply for a divorce, where the decision is a mutual one. There must also be a minimum of 6 months between the period of lodging the divorce petition, and a divorce being finalised. This is thought will allow time for reflection and an opportunity to turn back.
This is much welcome news for many and is hoped will encourage and promote conciliations and compromise, and, reduce legal costs.
No fault divorce and mediation can collectively create a situation for couples that will help them to approach this difficult decision to separate in a constructive, conciliatory and amicable way, reducing the stress and pain of the tradition approach to the divorce process.