The United Kingdom will simplify its restrictive divorce law

The United Kingdom will simplify its restrictive divorce law

The United Kingdom will simplify its divorce law to make it more permissive after being the subject of much criticism, British Justice Minister David Gauke announced Tuesday.

According to the Marriage Causes Act of 1973, a marriage in the United Kingdom must claim that their bond is "hopelessly broken" by five possible causes: adultery, irrational behavior, abandonment (after two years of desertion) or a separation of two years in a consensual divorce, and five years in the case of a disputed divorce.

This restrictive legislation has been the object of numerous criticisms and caused the spread of a practice known in the country as "the game of guilt", because if one of the partners accused the other of adultery or irrational behavior, he did not have to wait years to get a divorce.

The new law, based on a public consultation and to be introduced "as soon as parliamentary time permits," will extend the grounds for divorce, maintaining the concept that marriage must be "irretrievably broken," but without having to resort to the aforementioned causes.

Valid in England and Wales, the legislative amendment will introduce a period of at least six months from the request for divorce until the consummation of the same, a time that, according to the minister to the media, will help couples to "reflect" and have a "opportunity to retract".

In addition, it will include an option to request a divorce jointly and it will suppress that one of the two can reject the rupture if the other member wants to divorce.

These changes come after the controversy that occurred in the United Kingdom last July, when the Supreme Court rejected the divorce petition of a woman who claimed to be "unhappy" in their marriage.

A decision that forced the couple to stay together until the five years of separation and that caused great media commotion.


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