It is time to make ‘no fault’ divorce an option for couples separating in England & Wales, according to Sir Nicholas Wall, President of the Family Division, in his key-note speech to the annual conference of UK family law organisation Resolution.
Sir Nicholas Wall observed that from a judge’s point of view, allegations of fault are largely irrelevant when addressing other issues arising on separation, such as financial matters or disputes over children. The concept of ‘fault’ is rather out-dated now that the divorce itself is very much an administrative process.
Currently, unless a couple is content to wait for two years to pass after separation before issuing divorce proceedings, it is impossible to avoid an element of blame either on the basis of adultery, or unreasonable behaviour.
Most family law solicitors, sensitive to the needs of the individuals involved, will take pains to avoid inflammatory language in a divorce petition. However a ‘fault’ based petition is still not the ideal starting point for the conciliatory resolution of divorce proceedings.
Judges already regard the basis of the divorce as the subjective opinion of the petitioner, and are very mindful that there are two sides to every story. Hopefully, with the backing of the President of the Family Division, a genuine ‘no fault’ divorce will be an option available to those wishing to divorce in amicable terms.
If you wish to discuss any of the issues raised above, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team at Maguire Family Law who would be happy to assist you.
Maguire Family Law is a specialist firm of Family Law and Divorce Law solicitors based in Wilmslow, Cheshire. We offer legal advice to parties going through a divorce including the financial issues which flow from this (including pensions), linked business issues, international aspects and any relevant issues concerning the children. We also offer legal advice in relation to matters covered in this blog and general Children Law advice.