Wednesday, April 6, 2022

England and Wales enacted no-fault divorce this week


No more faked evidence or years-long waits -- from Wednesday, unhappy spouses in England and Wales can end their marriages without blaming each other, in the biggest reform of divorce law for half a century.

The onset of "no-fault" divorces means one spouse no longer needs to prove the other guilty of adultery, "unreasonable behaviour" or desertion.

If such grounds did not exist, the couple had to live apart for two years before a divorce could be granted -- or five years if one partner objected to the proceedings.


The case of Tini Owens galvanised a campaign for the change after she lost a Supreme Court fight in 2018, having failed to persuade the judges that her 40-year marriage should end.

Her husband had contested her claims of unreasonable behaviour, and the judges ruled that being trapped in an unhappy marriage was not in itself grounds for divorce.

(The BBC's summary of that ruling in 2018.)