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Couples will no longer have to prove fault to get divorced after the government announced today that it will introduce legislation to end what it called an 'unnecessary blame game'.

Justice secretary David Gauke said he had listened to calls for reform and 'firmly believe now is the right time to end this unnecessary blame game for good'.

Current law requires spouses to evidence at least one of five 'facts': adultery, behaviour, desertion, two years' separation (if the other spouse consents to the divorce), or five years' separation (if the other spouse disagrees).

The government proposes to remove the ability of one spouse to 'contest' a divorce in court. Irretrievable breakdown of a marriage will be retained as the sole ground for divorce. The requirement to provide evidence of a 'fact' will be replaced with a requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown.

The two-stage legal process of decree nisi and decree absolute will be retained. A minimum timeframe of six months will be introduced, from petition stage to final divorce.

Full Story: Law Gazette

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