1996 was the year when the first proposal for a “No-Fault Divorce” was put forward and rejected by the Family Law Act of the same year as unworkable. 21 years later we have heard it is coming soon, helped perhaps by the recent case of Tiny Owens, who is still waiting for her divorce, having taken it all the way to Court of Appeal and lost. (See https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/mar/24/tini-owens-trapped-loveless-marriage-judges-refuse-divorce ).
We have found the grounds for divorce is not the biggest problem and would have preferred the law is changed with regard to financial settlements. They recently conducted a survey of recent divorce clients on how they feel about the imminent change in judicial law regarding divorce. The question was, would a “No-Fault Divorce” have changed their divorce, the financial settlement, the relationship with their ex and the time scales of the divorce process.
We wanted to know was exactly how much would this new law help couples with the financial settlement or caring for the children. Seeing both parties in the divorce, as we do 85% of the time, the fault in the divorce is not the issue. Couples discuss the grounds and agree on them.
Survey of divorcees
Our client survey clearly showed couples are in favour of “No-fault divorce”.
85% of respondents believe it would have made their divorce process easier since the courts were so slow at processing their papers.
79% felt a “No-fault divorce” would have not made the discussion regarding the financial settlement easier.
80% of divorcees with children believed that having a “No-fault divorce” option would not have made the relationship with their ex better for the children.
62% of respondents believed that the divorce would have processed quicker if “No-fault divorce” was an option for them.
It seems that the majority of people felt the changes to divorce law will not improve the way financial settlements are achieved through courts and solicitors.
This part of the law is what radically needs changing. Perhaps fines for parents who do not take responsibility for the children they have bought into this world might improve relationships between parents. Another proposal might be a law to prevent parties from stopping the other parent from seeing their children. Look at this government petition. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/249833