Divorce laws set for big changes as amicable splits are processed faster

9 April 2019, 11:41 | Updated: 9 April 2019, 12:11

Divorce laws are getting an overhaul
Divorce laws are getting an overhaul. Picture: Getty
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

The divorce law reform will help stop the “blame game” between couples.

Divorce laws are set to change in England and Wales, to help couples who split amicably get divorced faster.

The current law means that if a couple want divorce proceedings to start immediately, one has to allege the other was unfaithful or participated in unreasonable behaviour.

By doing this, a divorce can be issued within three to six months time.

However, the rules are currently very different for couples who want “no-fault” divorces.

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The divorce laws will help lessen a "blame game" between couples
The divorce laws will help lessen a "blame game" between couples. Picture: Getty

In Scotland, a couple have to prove they have been separated and living apart for at least one year before being granted a divorce.

In the rest of the UK, it is at least two years.

However, a new reform is set to change this, meaning there is less of a “blame game” between couples when they split.

"Frankly, we are not going to keep marriages together by having a divorce process that just makes it more acrimonious [and] tries to apportion blame in such a way that the couple are likely to have a weaker, poorer relationship subsequently than they would otherwise do,” explains Mr Gauke.

The changes in the law are set to be introduced as soon as possible, when “parliament time allows”, he explained to the BBC.

The new divorce laws will mean there is a minimum of six months from the petition stage of the divorce to the divorce being officially granted.

These changes are set to happen after the Supreme Court rejected 68 year old Tini Owens’ appeal for a divorce from her husband, who refused to agree to a split.

Senior judge Baroness Hale believes the laws are “unjust” and need an overhaul.

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