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Change to Divorce Law?

Change to Divorce Law?

Change to Divorce Law?

If you currently want to apply for a divorce in England and Wales you’ll need to prove that your marriage has broken down. You have to apply based on one of the 5 grounds

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behavior
  • Desertion
  • You’ve been separated for more than 2 years
  • You’ve been separated for at least 5 years

What if none of the grounds apply as in the case of Tini Owens? Mrs Owens went to The Supreme Court as she wanted to divorce on the grounds she was unhappy. Her husband of 40 years refused the split, leading the court to rule against her “with reluctance”. She will remain married until 2020 when she will meet the “separated for 5 years” rule and therefore not need her husband’s consent.

Should simply being unhappy be enough? There are 2 sides to this argument. Some people argue that the current rules are archaic and not fit for modern purpose. The current law was introduced by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and is 45 years old. 1973, the year of the Watergate Scandal, joining the common market. A time when a pint of beer cost 13p and a loaf of bread 11p.

The flip side of the argument is that divorce will be too easy. Perhaps people give marriage more of a go as it’s not simple to divorce

The justice secretary, David Gauke has announced a consultation proposing removing the need to allege “fault”, and the right of spouses to contest a divorce.

Mr Gauke said the current divorce laws were “out of touch with modern life”.

The proposed change would introduce one singular ground for divorce “the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage”

It is also recommending removing the need to show evidence of a spouse’s conduct, or a period of living apart. The changes would apply to both marriages and civil partnerships.

The consultation ends on 10 December 2018 so watch this space.

If you need advice in relation to divorce Levins are here to help. We offer competitively priced fixed fee divorces. Please give us a call on 0151 4805777 to arrange an appointment with one of our divorce solicitor team.

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