No Fault Divorce.

24 October, 2014

A number of big names in the family law world have been raising the prospect of removing the requirement of “fault” in the process of divorce.

There is already a non fault based circumstance, or “fact”, which will enable a divorce to proceed and that is the fact of 2 years separation with the parties consent.

The difficulty often arises where the parties can not wait for 2 years. In this scenario, they must rely on fault based facts such as unreasonable behaviour or adultery. Reliance on these facts can unnecessarily “raise the temperature” between the parties, which is what most family law solicitors are trying to avoid.

One hundred years ago, when divorce was a matter of social status, making it important to establish the innocent party, this issue probably did matter. However, in the 21st century these issues are no longer important and the mood, amongst many, has moved towards a simplified divorce process, which does not rely on fault, being implemented.

This may also have the effect that the divorce process can become a largely administrative function, which does not require judicial supervision. This in turn will make the process more straightforward and user friendly for those who are forced to have a DIY divorce as a result of the legal aid cuts.