The present system in England and Wales

The person applying for a divorce is called a petitioner. The other spouse is called a respondent.

A Petition for Divorce is lodged at court stating that the marriage has Irretrievably broken down and explaining why by selecting one of 5 reasons:

  1. Adultery (of the other spouse);

  2. Unreasonable behaviour (of the other spouse and that the respondent 'behaved in such a way that the person applying for a divorce cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent');

  3. Desertion (by the other spouse);

  4. Two years separation by consent (consent of the other spouse);

  5. Five years' separation.

The consultation proposals in England and Wales

The government consultation launched on the 15 September 2018 sets out the proposals which include:

  • retaining the sole ground for divorce: the irretrievable breakdown of marriage;
  • removing the need for a spouse to evidence of the other spouse's conduct or a period of living apart;
  • introducing a new notification process where one or possibly both parties, can notify the court of the intention to divorce;·
  • removing the opportunity for the other spouse to contest the divorce application

The consultation is long awaited. Family lawyers have been campaigning for a number of years to modernise the process of divorce to promote less acrimonious proceedings.

At Gardner Leader LLP we have a team of Family law experts here to help and guide you through the process providing you with Peace of Mind.

Stephanie Buckeridge - Family Law Expert

01628 502883