Lawyers have welcomed government plans to introduce no-fault divorce, saying the changes would allow families to function after a marriage breakdown.
The government announced today that divorce laws in England and Wales would be changed as soon as parliamentary time became available.
Under the existing Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, a spouse has to prove their partner is at fault through adultery, desertion or unreasonable behaviour for divorce proceedings to start. If a couple wants a divorce and neither party admits blame, they must live apart for two years. If one spouse does not agree to ending the marriage, they must live apart for five years before a divorce is granted.
The new laws will include a minimum timeframe of six months from petition stage to a marriage being ended, designed to allow couples to reflect on their decision. They will also prevent someone refusing a divorce if their spouse wants one.
Partner Henry Hood commented:
“We have been here before of course, and there will be resistance just as there was in 1996 which was able then to prevent any change even after reforming legislation had been passed. That cannot happen again… can it?”
Read the full article in The Guardian here, which was also syndicated in Yahoo! News.