Should we allow divorce on demand?

As the law stands the only ground for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage which must be evidenced by one of five facts:
– The other party’s adultery
– The other party’s unreasonable behaviour
– Two years desertion
– Two years separation with consent
– Five years separation
This means that, if a couple wishes to divorce but they have not yet been separated for a minimum period of two years, one of them has to state that the other has either committed adultery or behaved unreasonably, and furthermore provide details of the adultery or unreasonable behaviour in the Divorce Petition.
The emphasis in family law is that parties should deal with the breakdown of their relationships in a dignified, constructive and non-confrontational way especially if they have children. Couples are encouraged to try and reach an agreement with regard to their children and property and financial matters and formal applications to the court should be viewed as a last resort. It can be very difficult to deal with these matters in an amicable way if you have read an adultery or unreasonable behaviour Petition issued by your partner and the relationship can quickly deteriorate.
The law on divorce is 50 years old. It is outdated, it is costly for couples and it fuels acrimony, hostility and pain and damages the possibility of long-term relationships in the interest of children. Scotland leads the way in that in Scotland you now only have to wait for one year to obtain a divorce if the other party consents.
In 2016 there were 107,000 divorces in England and Wales and 60% of them involved a Petition for adultery or unreasonable behaviour. Many people support the institution of marriage but believe that the law should be reformed to scrap the fault based divorce laws. This would enable people to take a very neutral stance that their marriage was over and reach an agreement on that basis.
If you would like any advice on divorce of family matters then please do contact us on enquiry@dixonstwart.com

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