Views on Divorce – How Have Viewpoints Changed?
A number of our previous articles have looked in great detail at how divorce affects different people as well as how divorce legislation has developed over the years. Although we have touched on the ways in which attitudes towards divorce has changed especially over the last few decades – we have written this article to directly discuss views on divorce and how these are likely to change when further divorce legislation is introduced in the UK.
As there are various viewpoints, perceptions and opinion on divorce – taking an in-depth look at how these viewpoints have changed and how they may be set to change in the future – especially with the introduction of no-fault divorce. In this article – we take a look at some of the views in terms of divorce and how these may change in the future.
No-Fault Divorce – Division in Views?
When no-fault divorce was initially introduced and proposed by the government – opinions were divided on the legislation that was set to be introduced. Widely speaking – the division was between those who felt that the sanctity of marriage was being violated by no-fault divorce (making the divorce process easier for couples) and those who championed the changes as reforms to old divorce laws that are not fit for purpose. But what are the main arguments for and against no-fault divorce and how may these views change when the reforms are finally introduced?
Christian Views on Divorce
Some Christian activist groups are directly opposed to the proposed changes to divorce law and reform of divorce in general. These views propose that the reforms that are looking to be introduced make will make the divorce process even easier which will, therefore, reduce the ‘sanctity of marriage’ and the importance of marriage in the Christian Religion. This has been met with resistance from pro-divorce campaigners who argue that acrimonious divorce cases and marriages cause great harm to both spouses as well as children and family members should they become involved in any disputes. Ideally – the divorce process would be amicable in every case however this simply isn’t true in certain cases.
Support for No-Fault Divorce
Under current divorce legislation, there are strict rules in place which must be cited or met for a divorce to take place.
The current grounds for divorce are as follows:
Adultery – You are unable to give adultery as a grounds for divorce if you stay together as a couple 6 months after you were made aware of adultery taking place.
Desertion – husband or wife leaves you without an agreement, to end the relationship, without a good reason to desert you or if they have deserted you for more than 2 years in the past 2 and a half years.
Two Years Separation – If you have separated for more than 2 years then you can divorce with your husband or wife’s agreement in writing.
5 Years Separation – After being separated for at least 5 years you can divorce even if your husband or wife does not agree to this.
No-fault divorce adds the 6th option to the grounds for a divorce and adds a faultless option to unreasonable behaviour. Unreasonable behaviour is currently the most common grounds for a divorce in the UK and it is argued that this ‘forces couples to assign blame.’ This can increase the acrimony of divorce and future relationships after a divorce is finalised.
Both sides of the argument surrounding no-fault divorce are highly divisive and it will be interesting to see as to whether the introduction of no-fault divorce will make the process easier for couples who are looking to go through with a divorce. We will be observing this once no-fault divorce is introduced and re-assessing the arguments after the legislation is put in place.
Hurlows Family Law Practice is a valued and respected Firm of Solicitors which has been serving the Cardiff and South Wales area since 2001.