Cheshire divorce solicitor welcomes plans to overhaul divorce laws

A divorce solicitor in Cheshire has welcomed plans to overhaul divorce laws in the UK.

The UK Government has launched a consultation to make ‘no fault divorce’ part of the law as an attempt to take some of ‘the sting’ out of the divorce process.

Currently, divorce can currently only be granted without a spouse’s consent if they have lived apart for five years, or if the marriage has broken down due to adultery, unreasonable behaviour, or desertion. Even if separation is mutual, couples must live apart for a minimum of two years before divorcing (these are known as the ‘five facts’).

Danny Hudson, partner and family law solicitor at Warrington-based Watsons Solicitors, is welcoming the proposed changes.

The divorce specialist and member of the Law Society Family Law Panel said: “Removing the need to apportion blame for a marriage failing is a long time coming. It will be a landmark moment for divorce law and will hopefully result in less acrimonious proceedings.

“The current system is archaic and makes the process complex and often stressful at an already emotional time, particularly if children are involved.”

The case of Tina Owens, who was refused a divorce on the grounds of being unhappy in her marriage, forcing her to remain married until 2020, highlighted the current system and put pressure on the Government to review the law.

Danny added: “Tina Owens’ case highlighted how out-dated the current divorce system is.

“The proposed changes are said to introduce ‘the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage’ as the sole ground for divorce without having to use one of the ‘five facts’.

“Should the changes be approved, it is hoped they will pave the way for more amicable separations.”

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