No fault divorce – Does it exist in England?

by Tuesday, March 12, 2013
No fault divorce

No fault divorce

Can I get a no fault divorce?

Unfortunately England and Wales does not operate a no fault divorce system at present.

Unlike many other divorce jurisdictions around the world, England and Wales operates a fault based system. The only ground for divorce with an element of no fault, is the ground of 2 years separation with consent. However this ground does mean that your spouse has to agree in writing with your divorce petition. If they do not agree, then the divorce cannot proceed any further.

Family Law Act 1996

The Family law Act 1996, which was introduced by the Conservative government of John Major, provided for no fault divorce in England and Wales. However, the incoming Labour government of Tony Blair, after consultation, decided not to implement the parts of the act relating to no fault divorce. A campaign by the Daily Mail and other right wing media had a significant impact of the act not being implemented

The future for no fault divorce

However, the cuts to legal aid and reduction in budgets for the court service may mean that a government may reconsider the concept in order to alleviate the burden on the courts as many more people try and obtain a divorce without legal representation.

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If you would like advice on obtaining a no fault divorce contact us on 01793 211 211

Mark Keenan

About Mark Keenan

Editor of the Divorce Online blog

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