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Family Law Blog

Comment on divorce & family law 

No fault divorce by the backdoor

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There is no such thing as no fault divorce in this country. To get a divorce you have to set out at least 1 of 5 grounds of divorce and then in some of them go into a little detail about, for example, the behaviour of the other person.

But, is there no fault divorce by the backdoor? By the way I don't think anybody really thinks there isn't any "fault" when there is a divorce just that the phrase suggests there should be no need to rake it all up.

Time for the system to be honest. I think many Courts hardly read the undefended divorce petitions these days. It is hard to recall the last client who we had to tell we couldn’t get a divorce for and we have 15 divorce lawyers! So, provided you can say at least something was unreasonable about the behaviour of your spouse (and most of us have done something unreasonable, I know I have!) then you can get a divorce. In fact, I think that every single person who is now married, happily or otherwise, could be divorced on the ground of unreasonable behaviour. Is that effectively no fault divorce,by way of how relatively easy it is to get one?

If so, let’s have the law saying so and get away from people having to set out details of behaviour that often deeply upset and annoy then other. Apart from that, annoyed people tend to make divorces worse and increase the cost of divorce.

What a start when we are all trying, surely, for an amicable divorce if possible!


Andrew Woolley
Divorce Solicitor

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