Friday, 1 June 2012

No fault divorce? Bring it on!

At the annual Resolution conference, Sir Nicholas Wall said “I am a strong believer in marriage. But I see no good arguments against no fault divorce.”

I couldn’t agree more!  The process of getting a divorce in this country is far too adversarial.

In order to start divorce proceedings within two years of separation, one spouse must point the finger and blame their other half for ending the marriage.  A couple mutually deciding to split will have to make two decisions: 1) who gets to point the finger and 2) what do you accuse the other spouse of?  In such cases, drafting the particulars for the petition can be more a work of fiction than a recital of fact and can do more damage to the often fragile relationship between the parties than any argument over who owns what.

Today, we are ever in pursuit of a happy life and if something no longer makes us happy, we feel entitled to move on and resume the search.
Fallen out of love?  Fallen for someone else? Just want different things from life?

These are not, and never have been, valid reasons to warrant ending a marriage.   Even Henry VIII had to struggle to justify why he should no longer be married to Catherine of Aragon.  Not once did he try to argue that he just didn’t fancy her anymore and he would rather be spending his nights with Anne Boleyn instead.

There have been a significant legislative efforts in recent years, such as the introduction of FDR’s and now MIAMs, encouraging couples to resolve their differences outside of a court room.  How does that sit with a system that requires one party to be condemned as the baddie?  It doesn’t!

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