I read a really interesting article in The Times last week. Sir James Mumby, president of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales, noted that couples unwilling or unable to wait two years for a divorce by consent have to resort to a ‘collusive manipulation ‘of the law, citing one of the two fault based divorces behaviour or adultery, to get their divorce off the ground.
The pain of having to make potentially distressing allegations to allow the dissolution of marriage is unnecessary and archaic. As a Resolution practitioner (formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association) I encourage parties to discuss and, if possible, agree the reasons for divorce with their partner in the hope that it reduces animosity. The Judge’s comment that the present system has a lack of ‘intellectual honesty ‘is bang on the money.
The recent case of Tini Owens only served to exacerbate the difficulties. The unfortunate Mrs Owens has, for the time being at least, to remain married to her husband because the reasons for her divorce did not, in the court’s opinion, sufficiently prove her husband had behaved unreasonably. Fortunately, the case is going to the Supreme Court on the 17th May with Resolution being given permission to intervene. Let’s hope the Supreme Court makes the right decision.
Anyone who has ever been through divorce, and any practitioner within that area of law worth their salt will tell you that the whole process absolutely does not need to be made more difficult. There can be enough potentially corrosive high emotion when a relationship breaks down without the process making it worse. The sooner we adopt a no-fault divorce process, the better.
For further advice from a client focused, approachable, friendly and experienced Family Law Team please contact us. We have offices in Derby, Nottingham, Cardiff and London.
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