Divorce overhaul


Fault-based divorce is set to be scrapped under government plans to streamline the divorce process and end the ‘blame-game’.

Lord Chancellor, David Gauke, who has previously said that the argument for reform is ‘strong’, is expected to launch a consultation to shake up legislation that has not been changed for almost half a century.

A case at the Supreme Court in July highlighted the need for change, after judges ruled that Tini Owens must remain married to her husband of 40 years until 2020 because he refused to consent to a divorce.

Under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, unless both partners agree to split after two years of separation, one party must prove their partner is at fault through adultery, desertion or unreasonable behaviour. Otherwise, applicants must wait until they have lived apart for five years.

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