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No-fault divorce

View profile for Caroline Bourn
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All the members of the Family Team at Dawson Hart are members of "Resolution".

Resolution is an association of 6,500 members who are family lawyers and other professionals who are committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes. All members follow a Code of Practice that promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems.

As part of Resolution’s work in highlighting the benefits of implementing no fault divorce, it  presented its response to the Government consultation on divorce law reform to Lucy Frazer, Minister for Family Law.

The Minister for Family Law said: “We have committed to scrapping this archaic rule as soon as possible, making the process less acrimonious and helping families look to the future.”

The archaic rule referred to by the Minster is that for a couple, who both wish to divorce, one must blame the other, either for their behaviour during the marriage or for having committed adultery, otherwise there is a minimum waiting period of two years after the parties have separated.   

This often creates conflict and makes reaching a mutually acceptable agreement much more difficult for the couple.  Also, there can be an impact of this additional conflict and confrontation between separating parents on their children.

In 2015, 60% of divorces in England and Wales were granted on adultery or unreasonable behaviour. By contrast in Scotland, where divorce law is different, this percentage was only 6%.

Removing the need to blame from the divorce process will increase chances of successful non-court dispute resolution, in turn reducing the burden on the family court.

Resolution’s YouGov survey results showed that 8 in 10 people support removing blame from divorce, with 71% agreeing it is needed urgently and it is now a matter of waiting to see when these reforms will be implemented.

For more information on family proceedings, please contact Caroline Bourn.