Currently the divorce law in England and Wales operates a fault-based system whereby the court grants a divorce if a person can prove that their marriage has broken down. The break down in the marriage can only be due to one of the following five reasons – adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion after two years, two years' separation with consent or five years' separation without consent. These requirements were established in the case of Buffery v Buffery  2 FLR 365.
The procedure requires the petitioner to file a divorce petition to the court listing one or more of these reasons for divorce. Upon agreement of the petition grounds or the courts satisfaction that a divorce should be granted, a decree nisi will be drafted. Six weeks following this, the decree absolute is then issued, legally dissolving the marriage.
A no fault divorce is when neither party is at fault; it is “a quick legal separation without blame” as stated by Sir Nicholas Wall, president of the high court's family division (1). The notion of No-fault divorce was incorporated in Part 2 of The Family Law Act 1996; however, the act never came into power and was later repealed. England and Wales operate a fault based divorce system under which the only ground with a no fault element is the ground of two years separation with consent.
However, the cuts to legal aid along with the budget reductions for the court service may result in amplified number of people attempting to acquire divorce without legal representation. This may cause the government to re-evaluate the current divorce system in order to reduce the pressure on courts.
A key problem with the current divorce law is that if a couple has simply fallen o...
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...pted. It is of the popular view that a no-fault divorce option should be made available in England and Wales. However, it should be subject to certain criteria for example a mutual agreement between both parties to end the marriage after sessions of counselling or the reference of a medical member (doctor/psychiatrist) for people in an abusive relationship.
Family Law (Law Express) 2th edition, by Jonathon Herring, published by Pearson Education Limited 2009
Family Law Key Cases, by Helen L. Conway, edited by Jacqueline Martin & Chris Turner, Published by Routledge 2013
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