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Should the current system of fault-based Divorce be abolished?

In July 2018, the Supreme Court in the case of Owens v Owens [2018] UKSC 41, ordered a wife to remain married to her husband of 40 years after he denied that he had behaved unreasonably.

Currently, any individual wishing to obtain a Divorce without a spouse’s consent, has to prove that the marriage has broken down irretrievably due to adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion or that they have lived apart for five years. Following the judgement, the Ministry of Justice said that it would consider changing the law because the current system “creates unnecessary antagonism”. It has also been acknowledged by the Law Commission that the fault-based Divorce rules provoked unnecessary hostility and made things worse for children by exacerbating parental conflict.

In the same month as this Supreme Court decision, the Government published the Divorce (etc.) Law Review Bill which could lead to the first major changes to Divorce laws in 50 years and it is hoped, positive changes.