Supreme Court Case Prompts Renewed Calls for No-Fault Divorce

The UK’s Supreme Court has recently heard the case of Owens v Owens – a landmark divorce case where a woman has been denied a divorce, on the grounds that her husband’s behaviour was not deemed ‘unreasonable’ enough for the purposes of the divorce petition. 

The case has prompted renewed calls from a variety of quarters for the introduction of no-fault divorce in England and Wales.

One proponent for a change in the law is family law body Resolution, which has campaigned for no-fault divorce for decades. Its call for reform has now been echoed by the Marriage Foundation, the President of the Family Division, and the new President of the Supreme Court.

Resolution recently conducted a survey amongst family law professionals, and found that nine out of ten respondents agreed the current law makes it harder for them to reduce conflict and confrontation between clients and their ex-partners.

The survey also found that:

  • 67% said the current law makes it harder for separated parents to reach an amicable agreement over arrangements for children.
  • 80% believe the introduction of no-fault divorce would make it more likely for separated couples to reach an agreement out of court.
  • 60% have experienced lawyers drafting more aggressive petitions than before the Court of Appeal judgment in Owens v Owens.

“There is no evidence that fault acts as a buffer to slow the divorce process, and the petition plays no part in determining other factors, such as financial arrangements or what happens to any children the couple may have,” commented Resolution National Chair, Margaret Heathcote. “The current system is outdated, unfair, and unnecessary. It’s high time that we brought more maturity and transparency into the divorce process.”

Contact Lindsay Jones Specialist Divorce Lawyer

I offer a range of family law services including; divorce, fixed fee divorce, financial settlements, child law and related family law matters. To discuss your case with me, call today on 07917711887. I look forward to helping you find peace of mind.

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