Further evidence backing No-fault Divorce


For years there has been a growing consensus amongst professionals involved in the breakdown of family relationships that couples who wish to divorce should be able to do so without having to place blame. In some circumstances a couple has grown apart and realised they are no longer right for each other. Unless this couple has been formally separated for two years, the only way one party can start divorce proceedings is to blame the other and list allegations of unreasonable behaviour.

There have been various studies in the past recording that some spouses have to make up these allegations in order to get divorce proceedings started and many people believe England and Wales should have a completely no-fault based system for divorce. A You Gov poll published on 17 February 2017 reiterated these feelings again by finding that 69% of people polled thought that “people should be able to seek a divorce without having to show their spouse is at fault.” Only 15% believed that fault should be necessary.

Unfortunately the Government has confirmed to the House of Lords that it has no plans to reform divorce law although it is considering further reforms to the family justice system. Asked by Lord Pendry whether the government has any plans to review the fault-based divorce system, Lord Keen of Elie, Ministry of Justice spokesperson in the House of Lords, gave the following written answer on 13 February 2017:

The government is committed to improving the family justice system so separating couples can achieve the best possible outcomes for themselves and their families. Whilst we have no current plans to change the existing law on divorce, we are considering what further reforms to the family justice system may be needed.”

For anyone who is contemplating a divorce or wants to know what their rights will be following a divorce, Barker Gotelee are able to offer clients a free initial consultation in most circumstances, to discuss options and the legal fees involved.

Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors.

Ipswich Family Solicitors – for more information on our range of legal services, please call the team on 01473 611211 or email bg@barkergotelee.co.uk