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No Fault Divorce Law Reform

The Government has announced plans to press forward with a “no fault” divorce platform.

This is, frankly, marvellous news!

One of the banes of my life, as a matrimonial practitioner of many years, is just how divisive the current system can be and how destructive it is to an ongoing relationship between the parties.

No one investigates or checks why parties decide to get married.  It seems absurd that there needs to be, in this day and age, an investigation as to why their marriage fell apart.  After all, this is a deeply personal matter and no one else’s business (or at least it should be no one else’s business).

The problem with the current system is that you have a couple, who are divorcing for whatever reason, still needing to demonstrate that one of those parties is the “bad guy”.  This of course can be fraught with needless strain.  The parties are unable to simply say they want a divorce – whatever the reason why.

After all, no one truly knows the inside workings of a couples’ marriage and actually the more obvious reasons for a marriage failing are not, necessarily, the actual reasons that it did collapse.  Adultery, by way of example, is often a symptom of a failed marriage and not the cause.

Even more potentially damaging is where one party needs to talk about the unreasonable behaviour of the other.  It is one thing to say these sorts of reasons privately, it is quite another to see your former spouse setting out in a court document why he or she thinks you have behaved badly.

Filing a Divorce Petition is quite often the first step in the legal process of separation and at a time when emotions are running high anyway, a needlessly inflammatory Divorce Petition is not helpful.  This is particularly the case where the parties have children and need to co-parent effectively but are unable to do so due to the animosity that has been generated by their Divorce Petition.

Resolution, the peak body of family law solicitors, has been pressing for many years now, for a “no fault” divorce.  Our day to day as family solicitors has shown us, on too many occasions, that the current divorce process is needlessly hurtful and completely and utterly unhelpful to the parties seeking the divorce.

The current divorce rate shows, in graphic terms, that the idea that one party needs to show fault somehow protects marriage, is a complete and utter lie.  The sooner this old system is abandoned for a new, more humane method, the better.

All of us at Rayden Solicitors are fully in support of Resolution’s campaign for a no fault divorce and welcome with open arms the Government’s current proposals.

We can but hope that this legislation occurs sooner rather than later.

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