At least in England, there are no more blame games or fabricated proof required to divorce from a terrible marriage. Unhappy spouses in England and Wales can break their marriages without blaming each other as of Wednesday. The new regulation is being hailed as the most significant change in divorce law in the country in almost a half-century. With the advent of ‘no-fault’ divorces, one spouse is no longer required to show the other spouse guilty of infidelity, ‘unreasonable behaviour,’ or desertion.
Previously, if no such reasons existed, the couple was ordered to live apart for two years before the court could award a divorce. It might take up to five years if one of the partners objects to the process. The reform aligns England and Wales with Scotland, which has its own legal system, as well as nations such as the United States, Australia, and Germany.
Several analysts foresee a surge in divorces by couples who have been waiting for legal reforms; they also think that it will lead to more weddings because separation will be easier if necessary. Tini Owens’ story sparked a reform campaign after she lost a Supreme Court battle in 2018, failing to persuade the judges that her 40-year marriage should end.
Her husband had opposed her accusations of unreasonable behaviour, and the courts determined that being stuck in an unpleasant marriage was not grounds for divorce in and of itself. ‘ No one should have to stay in a loveless marriage or go through a long, drawn-out, and costly legal fight to dissolve it,’ Owens said. ‘ This reform in the legislation prevents that from happening, and I appreciate it,’ she continued.