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Do we need to see a change to current divorce laws?

View profile for Jo Chidlow
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Separation and divorce are undoubtedly difficult and a time of heartache and conflict, even for couples who have mutually agreed that their marriage is over.  Families have many practical things to deal with, such as minimising the impact on any children and managing finances.

Unfortunately the current divorce law does not help to reduce the tensions between couples.  At present the only ground for divorce is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.  This must be proved in one of five ways, three of which involve blaming the other party, or alternatively on periods of separation of either two or five years.

For many couples the idea of waiting for two years is simply too long, particularly, if there are financial issues to be resolved.  This means that it is then necessary to rely on either the other party’s adultery or unreasonable behaviour for supporting that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.  This can make an already difficult and distressing situation even worse. 

It seems particularly pointless as the reason for the breakdown of the marriage has no impact on either arrangements for the children or financial proceedings.

Whilst I always endeavour to assist my clients to effectively achieve an amicable divorce within the current law I fully support the campaign by Resolution that the law urgently needs to change to allow people to break up with dignity without a two year wait.

If you need to speak to someone about the breakdown of your marriage or any other family issue please contact a member of our specialist Family Law team.

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