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LEGAL EASE: The end of the divorce blame game?

Divorces and dissolution of civil partnerships can be acrimonious, but the Government hope to change that by reforming divorce law.

Their proposed changes include removing the need to blame one spouse or civil partner for the marriage breakdown, removing the ability to defend or prevent a divorce, introducing a minimum six-month period from issuing proceedings to concluding them.

Divorce procedure is governed by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, of which s1(1) currently requires a petitioning spouse to show their marriage has irretrievably broken down by proving one of five reasons; adultery, unreasonable behaviour, two year’s separation (with their spouse’s consent), desertion after two years, and five year’s separation (without their spouses’ consent).

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