Major Divorce Reform to be announced

Justice Secretary David Gauke has confirmed early this morning that new legislation will be introduced which will allow divorcing spouses to state that the marriage has irretrievably broken down without allocating blame.

Under the current system, one spouse has to allege adultery or unreasonable behaviour by the other for divorce proceedings to start straight away.

In future, they will only have to state that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

It will also stop one partner refusing a divorce if the other one wants one.

Justice Secretary David Gauke said the changes would help to end the "blame game". The introduction of a no fault” system is huge  and represents the biggest change in divorce law in 50 years.

Mr Gauke said overwhelming divorce law could help prevent conflict between parents. The children involved will also benefit as a result of the reduced conflict between their parents under the new rules.

The new rules will include a minimum timeframe of six months from date the date the divorce petition is issued to decree absolute stage.

In addition, a new option will allow couples to apply for a divorce jointly.

Anila Naeem, Senior Associate Solicitor  at Judge & Priestley LLP welcomed the announcement and said  “the current system is outdated, unfair, and unnecessary. It is about time we move divorce into the 21st century.”

If you have any queries please contact Anila on 0208 290 7344 or email


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