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Time for divorce without blame

Akhil Choudhury, director at Bowsers ANL-141124-152948001
Akhil Choudhury, director at Bowsers ANL-141124-152948001

As things currently stand, in order to divorce – unless couples have been living apart for two years – one of them needs to apportion some form of blame to the other.

Adultery or unreasonable behaviour are often heard when divorces are being discussed – and the problem is this often creates conflict and makes reaching a mutually acceptable agreement more difficult.

To illustrate this, academics have shown how the legal requirement to assign blame can undermine attempts to resolve disputes outside of court.

In the excellent document, Mapping Paths to Family Justice, compiled by the Universities of Exeter and Kent, together with the Economic and Social Research Council, it showed how the current situation can fuel conflict between parents, causing great stress and upset for their children.

The body Resolution, who are committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes, believe that removing blame from divorce makes it easier for people to manage their separation with as little conflict and stress as possible, and reduce the likelihood that they will end up in court.

At Bowsers, we wholeheartedly agree as anything that reduces the heartaches divorce can entail should be welcomed.

This number isn’t small either. In 2012, there were over 72,000 divorces in the country where adultery or unreasonable behaviour were cited.

A civilised society deserves a civilised divorce process.

This calling for change isn’t new either. Many people involved in family law for umpteen years have stressed the need for reform.

Other countries around the world – including Australia, the United States, and Spain – allow for divorce without blame.

It is now time for us to follow their lead.

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