Parting ways

Q. My wife and I recently separated and we would like a nice, easy, ‘no fault’ divorce. How can we go about this?

A. In order to petition for a divorce there is one ground for it; irretrievable breakdown of the relationship. This must, however, be demonstrated using one of five facts, namely, adultery, unreasonable behaviour, 2 years desertion, 2 years separation with the other person’s consent or 5 years separation.

If you and your wife are amicable, and each agree to the divorce, currently your only option is to wait until you have been separated for a period of 2 years and issue a petition. In the event that you wish to get divorced sooner, however, one of you will need to issue a petition on either the fact of the other’s adultery or unreasonable behaviour.

Contrary to recent press coverage, there are no current plans to change the law to allow parties to file for divorce immediately upon the breakdown of the relationship without citing the other person as being to blame (i.e. either their adultery or unreasonable behaviour). The Justice Secretary is, however, undertaking a review of the law, with a possibility of implementing ‘no fault’ divorce; but, the initial consultation period is set to last until 10th December 2018 at the earliest and it’s anybody’s guess as to when, or even if, the government will take any further action in the near future.

Please contact us if you would like more information about these issues or any aspect of family law on 01656 645525 or