The behaviour “fact” hit the headlines in the case of Owens v Owens. These proposed changes to the current divorce laws follow the Supreme Court’s rejection of a woman’s appeal for divorce after her husband refused to consent to the same. Mrs Owens initially sought to divorce her husband on the grounds of his behaviour and the fact that she was unhappy within the marriage.
The Supreme Court unanimously rejected her appeal and the parties must now remain married until this year, with Mrs Owens having issued her petition in 2015.
Supporters of the non-fault movement are pleased that the Government has listened to their concerns and feel that the current fault-based system exacerbates the stress and tension felt by parties who are engaged in the divorce process. Many feel that the current process exposes children to the damaging impact on ongoing conflict between their parents both during and after the divorce process.
Critics of the new proposals will argue that the removal of the ability for a person seeking a divorce to state their case as to their true reasons for the breakdown of their marriage, will affect their ability to gain closure in respect of the relationship ending.