We use cookies to provide a better user experience for you as well as to understand how people use our website and analyze site traffic.
By clicking "I agree", you will be letting us use cookies to improve website experience.

Time is now for divorce without blame

As legislation currently stands in order to divorce, unless couples have been living apart for two years one of them needs to attach some form of blame to the other.

Unreasonable behaviour, whatever that may entail, or adultery are often cited as grounds for divorce and this often creates great conflict and makes reaching a mutually acceptable agreement challenging as neither party wants to be blamed for the breakdown of the marriage.

To illustrate this, academics have shown how the requirement to apportion blame can undermine attempts to resolve disputes outside of court.

The document Mapping Paths to Family Justice, compiled by the Universities of Exeter and Kent, together with the Economic and Social Research Council, demonstrates how the law, as it currently stands, can fuel conflict between parents, causing great turmoil for their children.

The body Resolution, who are committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes, and which we at Dale & Newbery are members of, believe that removing blame from divorce makes it easier for people to negotiate their separation with as little conflict and stress, and reduce the likelihood that warring couples will end up in court.

At Dale & Newbery, we believe that anything that reduces the misery that generally goes hand in hand with divorce should be championed.

The number of affected parties is significant. In 2012, there were over 72,000 divorces in the country where adultery or unreasonable behaviour were cited.

We live in one of the world’s wealthiest countries, and a civilised society deserves a better more conciliatory divorce process.

This calling for change isn’t something new. Many eminent family law professionals for years have voiced an opinion for the need for reform. Other well respected countries around the world – including Australia, the United States, and Spain allow for divorce without blame. It is now high time we followed their example.