Divorce overhaul to end blame game


Divorce laws in England and Wales are to be overhauled, with the current system where a spouse has to allege adultery or unreasonable behaviour for divorce proceedings to start immediately to be replaced with a system that will only require a party to say the marriage has broken down irretrievably. Justice Secretary David Gauke said the changes would help end the “blame game”, adding: “While we will always uphold the institution of marriage, it cannot be right that our outdated law creates or increases conflict between divorcing couples.” The new rules, which come after a 12-week public consultation, will include a minimum timeframe of six months from petition stage to decree absolute, with the applicant asked at this point to affirm their decision to seek a divorce before it is granted. Christina Blacklaws, president of the Law Society, said introducing no-fault divorce “will help to cut some of the conflict from what can be a highly str essful experience.” Zahra Pabani of Shakespeare Martineau commented: “This firm commitment by the Government to help end the mud-slinging process that divorce so often becomes is long overdue,” while Hall Brown Family Law’s Sam Hall also welcomed the reform, saying the current system requiring fault “is the equivalent of throwing a hand grenade into already difficult situation.” Jo Edwards, head of family law at Forsters, points to the increasing use of mediation, noting that divorce “used to be perceived as an adversarial process.”

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 1 The Guardian, Page: 4 The Times, Page: 1 I, Page: 1 Daily Mail, Page 1 The Sun, Page: 4 Daily Express, Page: 27 I, Page: 5 Daily Mirror, Page: 21 Yorkshire Post, Page: 2 BBC News


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