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Nuffield Foundation: ‘No Fault Divorce’ In Line With Global Trend

27 March 2019

The UK is lagging behind other countries around the world with regards to its divorce laws, by obligating one spouse to be at fault for a legal separation to be granted or having to live as an estranged couple for a considerable amount of time.

With more and more married couples calling for ‘no fault divorces’ in the UK, the Nuffield Foundation found this was already in line with global divorce law trends.

Currently, couples in England and Wales have to be married for a year before they can get a divorce, and they have to prove their relationship has irretrievably broken down before they are granted a separation.

This breakdown of a marriage can occur through adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, two years of separation with consent, or five years of separation without consent.

However, there is no case for a ‘no fault divorce’, which would mean no party takes the blame for the marriage dissolving. For instance, if a couple simply grows apart or falls out of love with each other, they would not be able to get a divorce in the UK without either waiting for two years with consent, or citing ‘unreasonable behaviour’ – something that could cause more damage to their relationship if one partner believes this is unjustified.

Nuffield Foundation’s recent report argues that the Ministry of Justice’s proposal to allow ‘no fault divorces’ to occur in Britain follows a global movement.

Dr Jens M Scherpe and Professor Liz Trinder compared divorce legislation in Australia, California, Colorado, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, Spain and Sweden with those in the UK.

“They find there is an international trend towards recognition that a divorce must be granted where one of both parties insists that the marriage is over,” a spokesperson for the organisation stated.

The Ministry of Justice is currently trying to reform divorce legislation, looking at introducing a new waiting period instead of claiming the marriage broke down as a result of the five grounds.

“The consultation also proposes to remove the ability to defend a divorce, other than in relation to lack of jurisdiction, validity of the marriage, fraud and procedural compliance,” the spokesperson went on to say.

Before the proposals for a ‘no fault divorce’ can be approved, questions need to be answered regarding how the notification procedure would work.

The problems regarding fault-based divorce have been discussed for years, and a Law Commission report highlighting six issues with it was published as long ago as 1990.

It stated the law “distorted bargaining positions, provoked unnecessary hostility, made things worse for children by exacerbating parental conflict whilst at the same time doing nothing to save marriages”.

Despite the government trying to implement the Family Law Act 1996, this was never established due to logistical problems.

It is clear that some sort of amendment needs to be done though, as 43 per cent of people who were blamed as part of divorce proceedings disagreed with their ex-spouse, and more than a third (37 per cent) rejected the allegations that were made against them.

For more information on separating from your partner, our divorce solicitors in Buckinghamshire can help you find out where you stand. Talk to us on 01494 773377 or email us at [email protected]

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Amy Sansom
14:03 04 Dec 19
Rezaul was brilliant at solving a corporate dispute for us and ensured procedure was followed to the letter. He was... always on hand for a quick phone call if needed and kept us up to date on the matter. Thank youread more
Mike Lennon
Mike Lennon
23:01 21 Oct 19
Andrew king from Lennons Solicitors is excellent at what he does. Having conducted research around various firms based... upon expertise and reviews I opted to instruct Lennon's Solicitors. My point of contact was Pauline Barber who took my initial information. I was then referred to Andrew in respect of a sensitive property / probate matter, which was a very stressful situation for my mother. Suffice to say Andrew was personal but professional in his approach, explaining everything in a way you can understand, whilst providing clear options in how to progress matters. He was helpful in resolving any queries and concerns which were raised. This not only helped me tremendously in obtaining the correct information he required but it also made matters stress free and easy for my mother to understand. Pauline assisted in proceedings when Andrew was not available and all messages left received prompt responses by both Pauline and Andrew. Overall Lennon's were selected for their reputation and expertise in the field i required. Suffice to say Lennon's did not fail to deliver and Andrew is a damn good solicitor, who I would recommend 100%.read more
Rachel Moore
Rachel Moore
12:50 16 Oct 19
I've used Todd Bowsher for buying/selling property twice now and both times have been straight forward and stress-free.... It became apparent to me in buying my latest flat the importance of having a good solicitor and I can't recommend Todd, and Lennons, highly enough.read more
Bob Falana
Bob Falana
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Dear Todd, having worked with you on a number of property purchases over the last few years, I am delighted to offer my... feedback. You are a pleasure to work with, Always returning my calls and keeping me informed throughout the process. You make what could be a stressful time much easier and calmer, your advice has been valuable and accurate for sticky moments in the process. Thank you for a great service at a great price. Kind regards - Bobread more
Scott Hamilton
Scott Hamilton
10:35 02 Oct 19
Lennons worked on a commercial lease for me. They performed this task quickly and efficiently. Easy to work with.
Martin Nash
Martin Nash
14:50 01 Oct 19
Ros at Lennons recently acted for me with a house purchase. Excellent service, she kept me well informed throughout,... the process, seemed really knowledgeable and chased things along when necessary. Would highly recommend. Competitive fee for a quality service. Thanks Ros.read more
Susan Harris
Susan Harris
11:04 26 Sep 19
I am very pleased that I instructed Rezaul from Lennons in Amersham to undertake some conveyancing work for me in... relation to my business. Rezaul communicated well and always kept me informed about how the process was going, along the way. He was also very easy to get along with and available to answer any questions. I will certainly use him for anything I may have in his expertise in the future!read more
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Katie Hughes-Jones
11:23 18 Sep 19
We had a great experience with Todd at Lennons. He did everything he could to move things along as quickly and as... efficiently as possible as well as always been available for advice.read more
Dan Farrell
Dan Farrell
21:16 16 Sep 19
Efficient, diligent and understanding service from Todd and the team. We really appreciated the advice and accurate... conveyancing service.read more
Adam Gibson
Adam Gibson
14:03 05 Aug 19
Ros Nolan was a pleasure to work with on the purchase of our new home. Her expertise and knowledge helped in... maintaining an easy, smooth process. I'd highly recommend Ros' services to any other first time buyers.read more
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I had never sold a house before and didn't know quite what to expect. Roz or Diane were always quick to answer the... phone or emails. The whole process ran smoothly and I was always kept informed along the way how things were going. Thank you very much !read more
Kieran Byrne
Kieran Byrne
14:29 28 Jun 19
I had the pleasure of dealing with Rezaul from Lennons in a couple of recent transactions, both residential and... commercial. I found him to be extremely professional and knowledgeable. He was also tenacious in protecting my interests. Altogether my experience of using Lennons was excellent, I will use them again and recommend them to friends.read more
Alison Chauhan
Alison Chauhan
11:32 25 Jun 19
Lennons Solicitors were highly recommended by 2 lots of friends and Lennons lived up to our expectations when selling a... house in York via probate and some very technical aspects linked to Land Registry - we live in Bucks - and the whole process was very efficient and economic under Ros Nolan who proved to be a very safe pair of hands. We were fully kept in the picture throughout the process with an outcome we were looking for. We will appoint Lennons for legal services in the future and would recommend Lennons to others as well. Alison an Bal Chauhanread more
Sarah Quane
Sarah Quane
11:54 19 Jun 19
We were recommended to use the services of Ros Nolan when selling our house in Chesham. Really grateful that we took... the advice as compared to some of the solictors in the chain, Ros was always readily available to speak to us, replied to emails promptly and gave us really good advice throughout the process. So much so, we have instructed her to act for a purchase on our sons behalf and again, Ros is readily available and gives our son, as a first time buyer, lots of time and reassures him whenever he has a question or query. Top marks for communication which when both buying and selling, is imperative. Highly Recommendread more
Chris Barrett
Chris Barrett
15:31 17 Jun 19
Rezaul dealt with the conveyancing of our residential property. As first time buyers, we were kept informed throughout... the process and exchange and completion were almost seamless. Many thanks for a smooth process, highly recommended.read more
Valerie Gollar
Valerie Gollar
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Details of this firm appeared on line when I was researching a Land Registry form. After using their chat line I... received a call back from Mike Wragg and was given the information I required, and which I had been unable to access from the Land Registry site. Excellent advice and would definitely recommend.read more
Early New Business
Early New Business
09:41 22 May 19
Rezaul Haque did a great job for my family, purchasing the Freehold of their property. Rezaul acted in an efficient,... timely fashion, with a very professional manner at all stages of the transactionread more
Dick Tillett
Dick Tillett
14:24 25 Apr 19
Rezaul Haque has been a great help in what has been a difficult time. He has been very quick at returning phone calls... and emails. He handled my commercial property lease efficiently. I would not hesitate to work with him again and I would happily recommend Lennons.read more
Giles Leather
Giles Leather
11:44 15 Apr 19
Rezaul Haque was extremely professional and worked relentlessly to ensure a good result for all concerned. Thank you.
Victor Surana
Victor Surana
20:36 14 Mar 19
Professional service by first class solicitors. Ros Nolan did a fabulous job on sealing the deal for our first... property. She is a thorough professional who exceeded our expectations. It was a very assuring experience as Ros always kept us updated on the progress and proactively completed the paperwork well within the timelines. Overall, thanks to Ros, our expectations were exceeded. Will not hesitate to recommend her for all your legal works.read more
Rich Perfumerie
Rich Perfumerie
13:11 27 Feb 19
Rezaul did a fantastic job with our commercial lease. Wouldn’t hesitate to use him and Lennons again Highly... recommendedread more
Innervision 1
Innervision 1
10:29 11 Feb 19
Rezaul Haque from Lennons dealt with the lease on our new office. He was efficient, thorough and most professional... despite some trying circumstances. He made my job that much easier. Thank you.read more
Matt Crisp
Matt Crisp
17:21 29 Jan 19
Rezaul did a fantastic job on our corporate share holders agreements, great guy, great work, Many Thanks!
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