Does the UK need no fault divorce?
No Fault Divorce
Divorce lawyers from Woolley & Co offer their thoughts on the idea of no fault divorce, to make divorce easier, less costly and quicker.
Ian Giddings, divorce & family solicitor Coventry
The question of whether we should have no fault divorce in the UK is a controversial topic. My view is that it’s a good idea. I have a lot of clients coming to me nowadays whose marriage has come to a conclusion rather than coming to an end, they are still on very good terms. At the moment as it stands under the Matrimonial Causes Act if you want to get divorced straight away - so without having to wait a minimum of two years - you have to say that there has either been unreasonable behaviour or adultery. Now very often if you are still on very good terms with your ex spouse you might want to avoid saying anything unpleasant about them because you have children together, you want to keep the relationship on good terms, you want to try and resolve financial matters without having to say anything unpleasant. So my view is that it would be a good idea.
Andrew Robotham, divorce & family lawyer Derby
I can see it would take animosity out of divorce which is a big problem particularly when there are children involved so I think if you took the sting out of separation and took that animosity away then I think that would help.
Sue Harwood, divorce & family lawyer Truro
I think we do need an update, I think it’s archaic for parties to have to find a reason about the other party’s unreasonable behaviour in order to end their marriage and I think it can often inflame the situation between them especially if there are children.
Karen Agnew-Griffith, divorce & family lawyer Thetford
In this jurisdiction we do not have no fault divorce but we should have, that’s my view. It’s a view shared by many other family lawyers.
Nick Wiseman, divorce & family lawyer Great Yarmouth
There is no such thing as no fault based divorce, there is in Scotland and in many other countries, but not in England and Wales. With the abolition of Legal Aid, more and more people are representing themselves in Court, this is leading to increased pressure on Courts, so in my view if no fault divorce was introduced that would do away with that pressure, it would lead much more to speedier and less contentious divorces.
What’s your view? Should we have no fault divorce in England & Wales? You can join in the debate by adding your comments on this blog: Divorce in the UK – is it time for a change?