On 15 September, the Justice Secretary David Gauke announced plans to introduce no fault divorce.
The plans, set out in a consultation which runs until 10 December, would remove the need for couples to have been separated or to allege ‘fault’ in the divorce petition. Instead, there would be a new notification process where one, or possibly both parties, can notify the court of the intention to divorce. The aim is to reduce the “conflict” between separating couples and harm for their children.
Under the current law in England and Wales, the only way to obtain a divorce without a spouse’s agreement is to live apart for five years. Or one must blame the other for the marriage breakdown, citing adultery or unreasonable behaviour. Even if both partners mutually agree the relationship is over, they still must apportion blame if they wish to waive the two-year waiting period.