Potential Landmark Moment for Divorce Law

Dana Mcilwaine
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Sian Rees Watson Ramsbottom Solicitors Personal Injury
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12th September 2018
WR Solicitor & Director Jonathan Leach

WR Director & Solicitor Jonathan Leach says the firm welcomes the potential landlark moment for divorce law.

As reported on BBC News 7th September 2018 in the article: Divorce law: Ministers plan overhaul to cut ‘antagonism’

Divorce laws in England and Wales are set to be overhauled under government plans seeking to allow couples to split up more quickly and with less acrimony.

Justice Secretary David Gauke, who has said the system creates “unnecessary antagonism”, is to begin a consultation on introducing “no-fault” divorces.

Campaigners said it could be a “landmark moment” for divorce law.

In July, a woman’s appeal for divorce was rejected by the Supreme Court due to her husband’s refusal to split.

Watson Ramsbottom family lawyer Diane Matthews has previously commented about the case: see article: https://www.watsonramsbottom.com/owens-v-owens-verdict-highlights-need-family-law-reform/

Tini Owens, 68, from Worcestershire, wanted to divorce her husband of 40 years on the grounds she is unhappy.

Her husband Hugh has refused the split and the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the appeal, meaning she must remain married until 2020.

Under the current law in England and Wales, unless people can prove their marriage has broken down due to adultery, unreasonable behaviour or desertion, the only way to obtain a divorce without a spouse’s consent is to live apart for five years.

The government’s proposals could see the concept of fault, or blame, removed from the process. Spouses could lose the right to contest a divorce, as part of the reform.

Speaking of the recent announcement of the consultation on ‘no-fault’ divorces, WR Director & Solicitor Jonathan Leach said:

“We welcome The Government’s announcement, and hope that it makes a swift passage through the parliamentary process.

The present adversarial system can cause a significant worsening in relationships between spouses at a time when emotions are already heightened and can have a lasting negative impact on them and their children.”
For further information or advice in relation to divorce and family law matters, please get in touch by calling 01254 67 22 22 or completing our online enquiry form to discuss with a member of our expert family law team.