Call for No Fault Divorce

Amanda Crowe Cropped

There is only one reason that a divorce can be granted in England & Wales and that is if the marriage has irretrievably broken down. In order to prove this to the court, parties must rely on one of five facts – adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, two years’ separation with consent or five years’ separation.

Typically the fact relied on by most parties is unreasonable behaviour, where one spouse has to list in the petition all the things the other spouse has done wrong that mean they can no longer live together as a married couple. Naturally this can cause further animosity between the parties in an already unhappy situation.

Now a leading family judge, Baroness Hale of Richmond, has reiterated her stance that the concept of ‘No Fault Divorce’ should be introduced. Baroness Hale wants to see couples being able to end their marriages simply by saying the relationship has failed, without implying blame on either side. Many family lawyers across the country also support this proposal, saying it is a common sense approach which is likely to reduce the stress that separating couples endure during the process.

Only time will tell whether the Government agrees to change the law and allow no fault divorce petitions. The full article in The Times can be read here.

If you need advice, our friendly and experienced solicitors are on hand to help. Call the team on 01473 611211 or email

Amanda Crowe is a divorce solicitor at Barker Gotelee, Solicitors in Ipswich.

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