Under current legalisation, if a couple wish to divorce without one party blaming the other (either on the basis of that party’s behaviour or adultery) they must have lived apart for a period of at least two years. This could extend to five years if one party does not agree to a divorce.
The Government has announced a dramatic change to the divorce laws by introducing plans for no fault divorce. Many people believe this is long overdue.
Such a momentous change to the legal landscape follows the widely published case, which found its way to the Supreme Court last year, of Owens v Owens  UKSC 41 in which Mrs Tini Owens found herself trapped in a marriage she was unable to have dissolved due to the refusal to Mr Owens and him successfully challenging Mrs Owens’ allegations about his behaviour.
The requirement of necessitating blame will be removed with a view to allowing a family to continue to function without undue acrimony, which is significantly important where children are concerned. There will be a new minimum timeframe of six months from a divorce petition being issued to the end of the marriage (Decree Absolute) which essentially permits couples time in which to reflect to ensure that divorce is the right course of action.
New laws will remove the need to blame either party and prevent a divorce from being refused by the responding party.
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