Calls For "No Fault" Divorce Law In UK

Senior Judge Wants To Make Separations Less Stressful

16.12.2014

Married couples in the UK should be able to have "no fault" divorces that make separating less painful and stressful, Britain's most senior female judge has said.

Baroness Hale, Deputy President of the Supreme Court, said in an interview with the Evening Standard that such a move would allow couples to end their marriages simply by saying the relationship had failed, without implying blame on either side.

She believes her proposal would make it easier for couples to settle the terms of their divorce without becoming entangled in lengthy and acrimonious court battles.

Baroness Hale said: "You would make a declaration that your marriage had irretrievably broken down and if you were still of that view a year later, then you get your divorce. That's that.

"You would use the waiting period to attempt to reach agreement on what was to happen to the house, the money, the children, and everything else."

Under current legislation, a spouse who wants to divorce must cite one of five reasons, of which "unreasonable behaviour" is the most common.

This usually obliges one partner to produce a list of the other's failings, which Baroness Hale says is "not a constructive place to start".