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End of the blame game 
in divorces?

Carla Ditz assesses the present state of the law and the campaign ?to alter the unnecessarily acrimonious route to divorce

1 December 2015

Unless a couple have ?been separated for ?at least two years, they are forced to go down the road of blaming one party for the breakdown of the relationship. The debate regarding a change to the law surrounding fault-based divorce has been awakened and there is a drive from all directions in favour of no-fault divorce, including the motion put forward in October by Richard Bacon MP to tackle this political hot potato. 

Irretrievable breakdown 

There is only one ground ?for divorce as set out in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, section 1(1): ‘[A] petition for divorce may be presented to ?the court by either party to a marriage on the ground that ?the marriage has broken down irretrievably’. 

A party must then prove ‘irretrievable breakdown’ by relying on one of five facts as ?set out in section 1(2) of the Act:

a) Adultery;

b) Unreasonable behaviour;

c) Desertion (two years);...

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