Divorce law to be reformed
Welcome to aaj newz..! The Government of UK has announced about divorce law that, subject to consultation, it is its intention to reform the legal requirements for divorce “so that it is consistent with the approach taken in other areas of family law, and to shift the focus from blame and recrimination to support adults better to focus on making arrangements for their own futures and for their children’s. ( Divorce law to be reformed )
The reformed law should have two objectives: to make sure that the decision to divorce continues to be a considered one, and that spouses have an opportunity to change course; and to make sure that divorcing couples are not put through legal requirements which do not serve their or society’s interests and which can lead to conflict and accordingly poor outcomes for children.”
The consultation document Reducing family conflict Reform of the legal requirements for divorce proposes “adjusting what the law requires to bring a legal end to a marriage that has broken down irretrievably.
This adjustment includes removing the ability to allege “fault”. The consultation seeks views on the detail of how best to change the law to reduce family conflict and strengthen family responsibility.”
Of the 106,713 divorces in 2016, 27% were for separation (two years and consent), 15% were for separation (five years), 11% adultery, 45% behaviour, with the remainder either desertion or a combination of adultery and behaviour.
The BBC quotes the Justice Secretary, David Gauke as saying: “We think that the blame game that currently exists helps nobody. It creates unnecessary antagonism and anxiety at an already trying time for couples.”
The Government has concluded, according to the Impact Statement: “that it is necessary to remove the requirement to prove a “fact” and is now consulting on the detail of implementation. The consultation will ask for views on, among other matters: Therefore
• Moving to a notification of irretrievable breakdown system
• The minimum length of time for the revised legal process to end a marriage (or civil partnership), which it is proposed should focus on the period from decree nisi to decree absolute (or conditional order to dissolution order)
• Removing the ability of a spouse to contest these matrimonial proceedings
• Retaining the bar on divorce or civil partnership dissolution in the first year following legal formation of the relationship Therefore
• Retention of other procedural requirements and safeguards. This includes the requirement that legal professionals should certify whether they have advised their client about the possibility of reconciliation and sources of appropriate help and advice.
Mark Harper, Partner at Hughes Fowler Carruthers commented: “It has taken 22 years since the last unworkable no-fault divorce law for the Government to accept the need for further reform. This will save 65,000 or more divorcing couples each year from having to prove fault to get a divorce, which will mean a better and more amicable start to those proceedings.” Therefore
The consultation opened on 15 September 2018 and closes on 10 December 2018 and a response to the consultation exercise is due to be published by 8 March 2019..! Therefore
About this consultation
This consultation is aimed at Parliamentarians, the family judiciary, family law practitioners, academics, support organisations and members of the public with an interest in family conflict, children’s wellbeing or the legal requirements for marriage and civil partnership dissolution in England and Wales.
Divorce is never going to be an easy change for families. But the recent case of Owens v Owens has generated broader questions about what the law requires of people going through divorce and what it achieves in practice.
When a marriage or civil partnership has broken down and is beyond repair, the purpose of the law must be to deal with that situation in the most humane and effective way possible.
When I became Justice Secretary this year, I was able to take a deeper look at the issue
of divorce, and particularly at the legal process that can incentive one party to make
allegations about the other’s conduct. What is clear is that this requirement serves no
( Divorce law to be reformed )
It needlessly rakes up the past to justify the legal ending of a relationship
that is no longer a beneficial and functioning one. At worst, these allegations can pit one
parent against the other. I am deeply concerned that this can be especially damaging for
children.( Divorce law to be reformed )
It is right that the legal process for divorce should give couples an important opportunity to
consider the implications of divorcing. But the emphasis on allegations about conduct,
which some people see as blaming the other party, adds uncertainty and pain to the legal
process and can increase ongoing conflict in the family. Therefore
Not only does this confrontational requirement go against the grain of wider family law, it
also undermines the constructive approach that practitioners take every day to help
families resolve their disputes. When a relationship has completely broken down, the
focus must be on the future.
In proposing to replace the requirement to evidence conduct or separation with a dignified
process of giving notice of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or civil partnership, the
Government is building on a strong and long-established case for reform. It has been
more than twenty years since my distinguished predecessor as Lord Chancellor, Lord
Mackay of Clashfern, led the way for Parliament to accept the principle that people should
be able to divorce without any requirement to justify the decision, except to themselves. In
view of all these considerations, the Government believes that it is right to reform the law
to remove this requirement.
When a marriage has irretrievably broken down, the law should not frustrate achieving
better outcomes, especially for children. That is why we are consulting on the detail of our
reform proposal, so that a revised legal process can help people find greater stability to
consider the implications of the decision to divorce and help them to reach agreement
about arrangements for the future. ( Divorce law to be reformed ) Therefore
The proposal focuses on a narrow area of the law that makes a substantial impact on the
lives of families. Last year, nearly 110,000 couples divorced, all of them constrained by a
requirement in place for nearly half a century. The damaging effects of this requirement
are not always apparent to people who have not themselves been affected by divorce. ( Divorce law to be reformed )