Family Law Awards 2020
Shortlist announced - time to place your vote!
Court of Protection Practice 2020
'Court of Protection Practice goes from strength to strength, having...
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative specialist text...
Latest articles
Practical aspects to assessing competence in children
Rebecca Stevens, Partner, Royds Withy KingThis is an article regarding the practical aspects to assessing competence in children. The article explores a range of practicalities, such as meeting a...
Scrumping the crop of recent pension decisions
Rhys Taylor, 36 Family and 30 Park PlaceJonathan Galbraith, Mathieson Consulting2020 has thus far proved to be a memorable year for all the wrong reasons, but nonetheless it remains an interesting one...
Conduct in financial remedies – when is it now a relevant consideration?
Rachel Gillman, 1 GC/Family LawThis article provides an overview of all aspects of financial misconduct following the recent decision of Mostyn J in OG v AG [2020] EWFC 52, wherein all aspects of...
The treatment of RSUs/Stock Options in light of XW v XH
Peter Mitchell QC, 29 Bedford RowStock Options and Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) are frequently encountered by the Family Court when dividing property on divorce or dissolution of a Civil Partnership....
Hundreds of thousands of companies worldwide fall victims to hackers every year. Is your firm one of them?
SPONSORED CONTENT Image source: Information is beautifulYou and other lawyers and legal assistants in your firm likely have accounts on the hacked websites listed in the image above. If a hacker...
View all articles

Divorce law fit for 2019 moves step close

Jan 4, 2019, 07:58 AM
Slug :
Meta Title :
Meta Keywords :
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : Yes
Prioritise In Trending Articles : No
Date : Jan 4, 2019, 10:02 AM
Article ID :

The recent announcement that the government is to overhaul our divorce laws was music to the ears of family solicitors like LUCY RODGERS, head of legal aid at Taylor&Emmet.

Finally, we have taken a giant leap towards removing blame from the legal process and we might eventually see couples separating more quickly and with less acrimony.

The news comes just a few months after the case of Tini Owens was reported widely in the media. She was denied a divorce by the Supreme Court after her husband of 40 years disputed the case, as it was deemed that a “joyless” marriage is not adequate grounds under current legislation. Whilst the judges were reluctant to find in Mr Owens’ favour, they decreed it is not their place to change the law.

Thankfully, the government was listening and the justice secretary, David Gauke, has held a consultation into ‘no fault’ divorce.

He is proposing to remove the concept of blame from the process, which would also mean spouses could lose the right to contest the action. But with the exception of Mr Owens, it is very rare for one party to defend their right to stay married. Most people take the hint!

After campaigning for years with our colleagues at Resolution, the body that represents family solicitors, my colleagues and I are really pleased to see parliament finally giving time to this issue.

Although it seems to me the most obvious piece of legislation to introduce, there are opponents who feel it undermines the institution of marriage. In my experience, it won’t encourage more people to divorce, but will simply remove some of the stress and anxiety caused by assigning blame to the process.

We’ve been here before…Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself, however. 

In 1990, the Law Commission recommended the introduction of no fault divorce and it was nearly implemented six years later, alongside compulsory ‘information meetings’ that were meant to encourage reconciliation. Sadly, after a pilot scheme was run, the idea was deemed unworkable and plans to change the law were abandoned.

This time, the prospects for the amended legislation look a lot brighter. The proposals are based on a simple notification system and after a defined period, a divorce will be granted, if one party still believes the marriage has broken down irretrievably. 

Part of the consultation will be to determine how long this waiting time should be, but six months has been discussed and would certainly seem fair to me.

This is a landmark moment for divorce law. Now dialogue is beginning, the momentum is there to see these changes through to fruition. Let’s hope they come quickly enough to stop anyone else having to suffer like Mrs Owens.

Categories :
  • Articles
  • News
Tags :
Provider :
Product Bucket :
Related Articles
Load more comments
Comment by from