In order to issue divorce proceedings in England and Wales it has to be proven that a marriage has “irretrievably broken down”. Some couples are happy to wait and simply state that they have been separated for two years. In this case, the divorce petition can be issued two years after separation (provided the other spouse consents to a divorce). This however isn’t right for everybody. If a Petitioner (the person who files for divorce) wants to issue proceedings quickly then there will need to be an admission of adultery or failing this, proceedings will be issued upon the basis of unreasonable behaviour.
Issuing divorce proceedings upon the basis of the other party’s unreasonable behaviour at a time of high emotions, can cause more problems than it solves. Couples can end up arguing over what should be included in the petition and instead of concentrating upon more important issues, time and money is wasted arguing over examples of unreasonable behaviour. A survey by Resolution has shown that a quarter of all divorcing couples falsify blame on their petition in order for their divorces to go through.
No fault divorce has to be the way forward. Marriage is of course an important institution and nobody would want a divorce to go through on the nod but the divorce process itself needs to be brought in to the 21st Century.
On the 13 May 2016 the No Fault Divorce Bill will receive its second reading debate in Parliament. There has been talk of No Fault Divorce for a number of years and it is hoped that this will soon become law.
For more information on no fault divorce or any other family law matters, please contact our Family Law team on 0161 475 7676.
You can also read more about the No Fault Divorce Bill in our previous blog: ‘Keeping Divorce Amicable‘