Government to legislate for ‘no-fault’ divorce in England & Wales

The Secretary of State for Justice, David Gauke, has announced that the Government will legislate to introduce ‘no-fault’ divorce in England and Wales. He told BBC News:

“Frankly, we are not going to keep marriages together by having a divorce process that just makes it more acrimonious [and] tries to apportion blame in such a way that the couple are likely to have a weaker, poorer relationship subsequently than they would otherwise do.”

The proposals follow the Supreme Court’s judgment in Owens v Owens [2018] UKSC 41, in which the Court unanimously rejected the wife’s appeal in a contested divorce when the husband contended that the marriage had not, in fact, broken down irretrievably. As we noted at the time, the Court rejected the appeal with obvious reluctance, Lady Hale PSC finding it “a very troubling case” [46]. Continue reading