No Fault Divorce

We are all waiting in anticipation of the outcome of Owens v Owens (The Mushroom Farmer) case, which is currently before The Supreme Court. The big question on everyone’s lips is will it lead to a change in the law and will we finally see no-fault divorces?
Currently, in England and Wales, there are five ways to show that your marriage has irretrievably broken down: adultery, unreasonable behaviour, two years with consent, five years without consent and desertion. So unless you both consent to a divorce, or you are willing to wait five years to issue proceedings, the finger of blame has to point at someone.
There is currently no such thing as a no-fault divorce in England and Wales. Some may think this is a very draconian way of thinking and doesn’t reflect a modern society.
But what is a no-fault divorce? It would mean that people no longer need to justify to the court why their marriage has broken down and no longer need to point that finger of blame at their spouse.
Going through a divorce is renowned as being one of life’s most stressful times as it so often comes hand in hand with conflict. Many argue that a no-fault divorce system would allow couples to end their marriage on a more amicable basis thus reducing conflict.
The Owens case brings this to light. Tini Owens married her husband, Hugh Owens, a successful mushroom farmer, in 1978. The couple separated in 2015 when Tini Owens filed for divorce due to her husband’s behaviour which she said was such that she could not reasonably be expected to live with him. He however defended the divorce and to date has been successful in his defence with Tini’s allegations of unreasonable behaviour being described as ‘flimsy’ at best. Tini Owens has therefore taken the case to The Supreme Court and the judgement is awaited.
Watch this space for the result of the Owens case and the future of no-fault divorces in the UK!
In the meantime, if you need advice on a divorce why not give Barber & Co a call and speak to our expert Family Law Solicitor to help guide you through what can be a difficult and confusing time.
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