The worst break-up excuse? No. Just an amicable divorce.
The current law, which dates back to 1973, makes it virtually impossible for couples to divorce without blame, unless they have been separated for at least two years. Apportioning blame often leads to animosity and further heartache at a time of conflict. Research shows that couples lie about adultery, as well as exaggerate behaviour allegations, to ‘secure’ a divorce.
Why should couples, who have mutually agreed to separate through no fault of either party, be locked in to an unhappy marriage? A recent report has commented that “the state cannot, and should not, seek to decide whether someone’s marriage has broken down”. The counter argument, of course, is that the institution of marriage should be supported thus a no-fault, ‘easy to get’, divorce would potentially undermine the values upon which a marriage is built.
Tini Owens, a wife trapped in an unhappy marriage, was left with no choice but to appeal to the highest Court in England and Wales to obtain a divorce. The Courts recognised that the marriage had irretrievably broken down however, Mrs Owens had failed to demonstrate that her husband had behaved in such a way that she could not reasonably be expected to live with him.
Mrs Owens, like many others, is a victim of the current outdated legislation. Couples should be able to separate and get on with their lives without having to ‘mudsling’. The law no longer reflects modern day realities and no fault divorce is called for. No fault divorce is supported by 9 in 10 lawyers including the chair of Resolution; a national organisation of family lawyers. In the words of the chair, the current law is “outdated, unfair and it is time for things to change”.
Could drastic change to the current divorce process in the UK be around the corner? We are yet to hear the verdict on Mrs Owens’ case and wait with bated breath.
If you have any queries regarding divorce, please contact our family team at Nalders.