Michelle Bowyer, Solicitor in our family team comments on the need for the law to change to allow no-fault divorces.
This case highlights the need for the law to change to allow no-fault divorces. The current law dating back to 1973 requires a petitioner for divorce to prove the breakdown of their marriage by relying upon one of 5 facts and if there has not been a period of separation (of 2 or 5 years); those facts require the Petitioner to place blame by evidencing adultery or behaviour.
A behaviour petition must recite allegations of behaviour which the Petitioner considers to be intolerable. As such, the allegations must be specific and current or the court will find that the Petitioner has tolerated the behaviour and therefore will not be entitled to the divorce sought.
This case also demonstrates the need for careful drafting as ultimately, if a divorce becomes defended, the party placing blame will need to prove their case. In this particular example, the wife has yet to prove her case and is likely to have incurred significant costs. As well as careful drafting, such dispute can also be avoided by observing the Resolution code of conduct which requires draft petitions to be offered to the Respondent for comment before being sent to the court.
If you require advice in relation to issues arising from this article or any other family related matter, please contact Michelle or any member of our family team on 01793 532363.