Should Blame Be Taken Out Of A Divorce?

There are many advocates for a blameless divorce system.

Ending a marriage is a painful process without the added stress of having to decide what reasons one should give – adultery?  Unreasonable behaviour? After all, haven’t we all been a little bit guilty of the latter at some point during our marriage?

Yet if you have not been separated from your spouse for 2 years (or 5 years if they are not happy for you to divorce them), you are faced with having to make this unsatisfactory choice. Most people plump for unreasonable behaviour, by far the most common ‘reason’ for divorce. This means that all the pain and sadness that brought you to the decision to end your marriage must be cruelly documented in the particulars of your Petition.

Many would argue that surely this only serves to damage an already tenuous relationship as your ex spouse is forced to read about their short comings in a formal legal document.  Critics of the system would argue that this can in no way benefit the parties or, more importantly, any children caught up in the dispute.

Lady Hale, Britain’s most senior female Judge, has for many years been a firm believer that blame should be taken out of divorce.

Those against shaking up the Family Law system would argue that this goes against the sanctity of marriage and we should not make it any easier to divorce.

In response, it would be suggested that divorce is not an option anyone would choose on a whim so why base the legal process of ending a marriage on a system which exacerbates the stress and sadness of the whole situation.   Those advocating this point of view would argue that, if two adults have come to the sad conclusion that divorce is the only option for them, that should be enough to satisfy a Court.

There will always be arguments for and against a blameless divorce system and for now, Lady Hale and her supporters will have to keep campaigning.

If you have separated from your spouse and wish to discuss divorce or any other aspect of your separation, please feel free to contact one of our specialist Family Solicitors on 01536 276313 or 01536 311690.