Tel: 029 2086 6001
Email us

Do you need help with...

  • Family Law
  • Residental Conveyancing
  • Wills & Probate
  • Landlords & Tenant
  • Civil Litigation
Contact detail graphic

Fault based Divorce reforms

Our divorce laws at present provide only one ground for divorce, the irretrievable breakdown of the marraige.

In order for that to be established the person commencing the proceedings has to rely on one of the following facts:
1. That their spouse has committed adultery.
2. That their spouse has behaved unreasonably and as such they can no longer be expected to live with them.
3. That their spouse has deserted them.
4. That there has been two years separation and their spouse agrees to the divorce.
5. That there has been a five year separation.

Parties who have separated therefore have the choice of waiting the two or five years before proceeding with the divorce or alternatively choosing one of the other three facts and in effect blaming their spouse for the breakdown of the marriage.

Clearly proceeding in this way can raise tensions in what is already a difficult situation. This can often introduce acrimony which has not previously existed. This can then have a knock on effect on the other issues flowing from the breakdown of the marriage including financial matters and arrangements for the children.

Our laws in relation to financial and children issues, particularly with emphasis on mediation over recent years are clearly designed to promote a constructive approach.

In contrast our ongoing fault based divorce system can be argued to be out dated and unnecessarily confrontational. Another school of thought however submit that requiring parties to undergo a period of separation i.e. two or five years protects the institution of marriage which would be undermined if we introduced a divorce system that did not require allegations of behaviour or adultery.