FAMILY solicitors are eagerly awaiting the outcome of a Parliamentary bill which would allow couples to divorce solely through the written consent of both parties.
Lisa Cogger, a family and matrimonial solicitor at Bowcock & Pursaill Solicitors who have offices in Uttoxeter, Leek, Eccleshall and Hanley, said the no-fault divorce bill was a ‘much welcomed reform’ which was ‘long overdue’ to make divorce a more amicable process.
Current divorce law requires a party to apply for dissolution of their marriage/civil partnership in reliance of one of five facts and, in the absence of two years separation, forces divorcing couples to blame their spouse for the divorce based on unreasonable behaviour.
This amendment to family law was proposed in October 2015 but the Bill has been postponed until the next session of parliament, which began on May 18th. No date has yet been set. It has already received support from Baroness Hale of the Supreme Court and the outcome of the current debate is eagerly awaited.
Lisa said: “By encouraging no blame to be attached to either party it will reduce conflict and avoid damaging the relationship further between divorcing couples, which is especially beneficial where children are involved.
“Research carried out by Resolution (the National Family Solicitors Group) has already revealed that 27 per cent of Divorce Petitions which asserted blame admitted that the allegation of fault was not true, but was the easiest option.
“Courts are therefore deliberately misled by a quarter of divorce petitions which contain false allegations.
“In a society which encourages mediation and putting the needs of children first, it can only be counter-productive to have a system based on finding fault.
“While the decision to end a marriage should never be taken lightly, the law should reflect the simple fact that sometimes, through no fault of either party, couples can grow apart. Divorce law needs to be brought into the 21st century and reflect the attitudes in modern society.”
If this Bill is passed the UK would join Australia, Spain, Sweden Canada and the United States as some of the named countries offering a ‘no fault’ divorce system.
Anyone interested in family and matrimonial legal advice can contact Lisa Cogger at Bowcock & Pursaill on 01538 370830 or email firstname.lastname@example.org