Can we have a no-fault divorce please?

The answer, in England and Wales at least, is no – that is, if you want a relatively quick divorce. If you are prepared to wait longer, there are grounds for what is in effect a divorce with no one being blamed for the marriage breakdown – but you have to wait for at least two years and then you can divorce, or be divorced, on the basis of being separated from your spouse for at least 2 years – provided that they consent to the divorce.

However, in an interesting move, New York State has allowed, for the last couple of years the “no fault divorce”. As a result, there was a 12% increase in the number of divorces that commenced in the following 7 months.

Mind you, even under New York’s states more liberal divorce law, there can still be unexpected problems. Recently New York State granted its first contested no-fault divorce to a 79-year-old Long Island woman – who successfully argued that a 56 year marriage was irretrievably broken – despite her husband’s attempts to stay married.

However, there still no sign of any real change in UK law – so until then, if you want to get divorced without waiting for a least two years, you have to rely either on the other party is unreasonable behaviour or on their adultery. Perhaps it’s time for a change in UK family law?