News & Insights

The Prospect of a No Fault Divorce

Currently, the law on divorce requires one party to apply for the dissolution of a marriage or civil partnership on one of five grounds, for example, unreasonable behaviour.

It is proposed that a ‘no fault’ divorce will allow the parties to make the petition jointly. The petition will require a statement from each party to confirm that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. It is hoped that this will reduce conflict in such a difficult time and the divorce will remain amicable.

In most cases accusations of unreasonable behaviour cause hostility as one party may feel they are being blamed for the divorce.

On the contrary, in research carried out by YouGov in 2015, it was found that in 27% of divorce petitions which alleged some sort of blame, the accusation was untrue. The couples stated that it was the easiest and quickest way to get divorced. It would appear that a ‘no fault divorce’ will be welcomed.

The No Fault Divorce Bill was set to have its second reading in the House of Lords on the 22nd January 2016 however it was postponed until 11 March 2016. Unfortunately, the Bill was not discussed at that time due to lack of time during this parliamentary session. The second reading has therefore been postponed again until the next session which commences on 18 May 2016.

More to come on the progress of this potential change in family law.

Please contact Lynn Gooch on 020 8502 3991 for more information.