The family courts of the United Kingdom have been trying for 46 years to adapt to the changing reality a law of divorce that no longer responds to the spirit of the times and sometimes produces extravagant sentences. The Ministry of Justice has announced on Tuesday the reform of the text, to cancel the list of causes required until today to end a marriage. It will no longer be necessary to prove adultery, the abandonment of the home or the irrational behavior of the spouse to obtain a divorce. The law also imposed a prior separation of two years before the divorce was final, and in the case of not being able to prove any of the reasons indicated, a period of cohabitation was necessary for five years before the end of the process.
"Although we will always defend the institution of marriage, it can not be fair to allow an outdated law to produce or increase conflict between divorced couples.That hostility between parents always leaves a mark on children and can damage their vital opportunities," the minister assured. of Justice, David Gauke. The bill will come into force as soon as it passes the corresponding parliamentary procedures. No obstacles are expected in this way, beyond the hoarding of the time of the deputies that is causing a divorce of different legal entity but almost equally traumatic, the Brexit.
The lag of the current Divorce Law was exposed in all its harshness last July, when the Supreme Court prevented 68-year-old Tini Owens from ending his 40-year marriage. The woman argued that there was no longer any love in the couple and that the relationship was definitely broken. The five judges unanimously ratified lower court rulings that obliged the plaintiff to remain married to 80-year-old Hugh Owens for failing to prove any of the causes provided for in the law. "Ms. Owens' appeal must be dismissed, she must remain married to Mr. Owens in the current situation." A cold verdict that was accompanied by a recognition of the legal anachronism. "Parliament can consider whether a law that denies Mrs. Owens any right to divorce under the present circumstances should be replaced," they recommended.
The new law establishes the irremediable rupture of marriage as the sole basis of divorce. That is, an objective fact and not a behavior that must be demonstrated. It also contemplates the possibility of requesting the measure from the courts by mutual agreement of the spouses, and eliminates the possibility that some member of the couple may legally question the other's reasons.
It also imposes a period of six months as the deadline for the entire process.
"The outdated causal divorce, based on the alleged faults of one or the other spouse, forced the couples who wanted to separate to defend the motives, and often the result was a growing animosity between the two, and the possibilities of later developing a positive coparental relationship were complicated. much more ", explained Aidan Jones, the executive director of the NGO Relate, one of the most important in the UK in relationship therapy.
Law 15/2005 of July 8 modified the Civil Code in Spain and suppressed the legal causes of separation and divorce. Until then, it was necessary to request judicial separation before divorce, and to plead for a series of reasons such as the unjustified abandonment of the home, infidelity, abusive or vexatious conduct, or serious or repeated violations of conjugal duties. Currently, divorce can be requested directly by either spouse after three months from the conclusion of the marriage.