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End of the Blame Game?

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Could "no fault" divorce end the blame game?

Legislation for no fault divorce will be introduced as soon as parliamentary time becomes available to end the “blame game” in marital breakdowns, the Justice Secretary, David Gauke, promises. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill had its second reading in Parliament in June 2019.

At the moment, there are five official grounds for divorce which apply in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Three of the grounds - adultery, unreasonable behaviour and desertion - require blame to be apportioned to one of the parties. This can cause upset and animosity between the spouses. David Gauke, in announcing the change, said: “Hostility and conflict between parents leave their mark on children and can damage their life chances.

Not everyone who wishes to get divorced will be able to substantiate a fault based petition. Therefore, the only other two non-fault grounds available are for spouses to wait until they have been separated for two years (if their spouse will consent to a divorce), or five years' separation. This can leave an unhappily married couple in limbo and unable to move forward with their lives.

Hopefully, these proposed changes will help to ease family conflict.

Talbots Law Family Team are always on hand to discuss this and any other family matter – for further information, please contact Angela Newlan on 01384 447779, or call our Enquiries Team on 0800 118 1500.