Elisha Poole (Student)
After two previous false starts, the long-awaited reform of divorce swiftly returns to end ‘the blame game’. The legislation reform will make an appearance in the next session of parliament. The Divorce, Separation and Dissolution Bill, first introduced in June 2018, came to a stand-still twice after the general election but has finally made its reappearance. The bill intends to introduce ‘no-fault’ divorce into legislation.
The current grounds for divorce require on one of the five facts: adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, two years’ separation (if the other spouse consents to the divorce), or five years’ separation (no consent required). The new bill, if passed, does not require these allegations to be proved, thuis permitting a “no fault” divorce. To be granted a no-fault divorce, one spouse must simply state that the marriage as irretrievably broken down.
Family lawyers welcome the latest development of the bill after Justice secretary Robert Buckland said: “The institution of marriage will always be vitally important, but we must never allow a situation where our laws exacerbate conflict and harm a child’s upbringing. By sparing individuals the need to play the blame game, we are stripping out the needless antagonism this creates so families can move on with their lives.”
Staffordshire University Legal Advice Clinic (SULAC) offers free legal advice on all family matters to members of the public. SULAC is currently offering appointments at Stoke County Court and various locations around Stafford including Signpost Centre and House of Bread. For more information, or to book an appointment please contact: SULAC@staffs.ac.uk or call on 01782 294800.