Quick 'no fault' divorces must be enforced

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The current divorce system which allows one person to be blamed for a failed marriage is driving couples to court, three out of four professionals stated.

They urged for the medieval fault-based law system to be reformed so that couples are free to end their unity without having to blame each other for the parting.

The proposal has been supported by several quick divorce lawyers, who took their plans to the Government this month.

England’s historical law dates back to the matrimonial upsets of Henry VIII, so therefore a much needed modern update has been encouraged by senior judges, who share fears that regulations regarding the system creates a discordant divorce culture.

Such a reformation was launched by John Major’s controversial ‘no fault divorces’ when he was in power in 1996, but it never materialised, and any hopes were dashed in 2001. However, three out of four UK’s top 100 divorce lawyers desire ministers to revisit the proposal.

Despite there being such popularity for a change, neither the Conservative party nor the Labour government support the motion.

Labour said it has no plans to make divorces more amicable. Yet 10 years ago both parties were stamping on each other to come up with the best policy to end fault-based divorces.

David Cameron's Tories are looking to strengthen the institution of marriage rather than make it easier to divorce, in the run-up to the general election.

Growing evidence exposes that a fault basis for divorce drives couples to the courts to settle their differences. Lawyers told a consumer law portal that families would suffer far less during the separation, if a wife and husband did not have to blame one sole party and instead proceed to a quick divorce.

Lawyers speak out

One lawyer noted that the UK is slow to follow other countries with the law: “England and Wales lag behind many other jurisdictions in not having a mutual consent option or no fault approach which does not involve a substantial waiting period, and it is time it came into line with many other jurisdictions,” said Suzanne Kingston, head of a family law firm.

Ms Kingston said the reason for a divorce is always immaterial to the real concerns which need to be addressed, and the lack of co-operation between the couple can lead to traumatic, lengthy and costly proceedings to resolve property and financial matters.

“A civilised society deserves a civilised divorce process which encourages people to look forward rather than what happened in the past. People divorce for many different reasons, not because of the nature of the divorce process itself.”She stated. She furthered that children were often the first to suffer in a hostile divorce.

2009 saw more children feeling the brunt of the unhappy home, with 66% of divorce lawyers reporting an increase in child-related issues including a rise in international abductions.

Nicholas Longford, chair of Resolution, which represents family lawyers, commented: “Anyone not wanting to wait two years or more for a divorce has to prove 'unreasonable behaviour' or adultery on the part of their husband and wife. Although for some couples this is appropriate, for many it simply adds animosity and more heartache to an already distressing process.”

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