Wilsons: Invitation to the House of Lords to consider Divorce Reform
Date posted: 2 November 2017
Our Sarah Colley was invited to attend the House of Lords recently for a reception to launch new research on how divorce law works in practice.
The reception was hosted by Baroness Butler-Sloss GBE with kind permission of the Lord Speaker and with guest speaker Professor the Right Honourable Sir Ernest Ryder. Members of the audience included representatives from the Law Commission and Rights of Women together with one particularly esteemed guest, the new President of the Supreme Court Lady Hale of Richmond.
The report is by the Nuffield Foundation and is called ‘Finding Fault, a report on how the current law regarding divorce and civil partnership dissolution operates in practice in England and Wales.’ As of 2015, around 60% of divorce petitions in England are based on the fact of behaviour. The report supports the removal of fault entirely from divorce law and recommends replacing it with a system where divorce would be available if the marriage is registered as having broken down irretrievably and that is confirmed after a minimum period of six months from the date of registration. Currently, someone applying for a divorce would have to wait a minimum of two years after separation to be able to proceed ahead with a ‘no fault’ divorce and that is only if the other party consents to the divorce. If no consent is obtained, then they would have to wait a minimum of five years.