Staffordshire Moorlands Resolution lawyer Jo Johnson welcomes Government consultation to reform archaic divorce laws

A Staffordshire Moorlands family lawyer today welcomed government plans to allow couples to split up more quickly and with less acrimony. Jo Johnson said the current “out-dated” divorce laws led to “needless conflict between divorcing couples which can have a devastating impact on the couples and their children.”
Justice Secretary David Gauke said the Government is to begin a consultation on introducing “no-fault” divorces.
Jo Johnson, a member of the Resolution group of family lawyers who are committed to the promotion of non-confrontational divorces, has previously called for changes to end the unnecessary antagonism and deception that can occur during a divorce.
“Under the current law in England and Wales, unless people can prove their marriage has broken down due to adultery, unreasonable behaviour or desertion, the only way to obtain a divorce without a spouse’s consent is to live apart for five years,” said Jo, an experienced lawyer who founded Jo Johnson Family Law in 2015.
“The new consultation has been sparked by the case of Owens v Owens where Tini Owens was told by the Supreme Court that she must remain in her marriage until 2020 after he husband contested her request to divorce.
“The reality is that some marriages do break down and divorce is never easy. We should not be inflaming a difficult situation further by ensuring couples to sling as much mud as possible in order to be granted a divorce.”
Currently, when married couples apply for a divorce they must prove that their marriage has broken down and give one of the following five reasons:
 Adultery
 Unreasonable behaviour
 Desertion
 Married couples have lived apart for more than two years and both agree to the divorce
 Married couples have lived apart for at least five years, even if your husband or wife disagrees

“The news that a consultation is to be held has the potential to be a landmark moment for divorce law in England and Wales,” said Jo.
“The Government appears to have heeded Resolution’s calls to make our divorce system fit for the modern age. Resolution members will continue to push for this much-needed, overdue reform to be implemented as soon as possible.”

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