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Family Law

Family Law (2nd edn)

Ruth Lamont
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date: 24 February 2024

p. 753. Seeking a Divorcelocked

p. 753. Seeking a Divorcelocked

  • Edwina Higgins
  •  and Kathryn Newton


This chapter considers the law and process for seeking a divorce in England and Wales, which is due to change radically in April 2022. It examines the current legal framework (as of September 2021) and the gap between the ‘law in books’ and the practical reality, highlighted in the key Supreme Court case Owens v Owens [2018] UKSC 41. It contrasts the conduct-based provisions of the current law with the ‘no fault’ provisions due to be introduced in 2022. It discusses the criticisms that have been made of the conduct-based law, and why there was pressure for reform. The discussion is placed in the context of divorce statistics in order to determine the link between the divorce law and the divorce rate, and whether this matters. In so doing, the chapter considers how much of a role the state should play in regulating divorce and the place of ‘fault’ in a modern divorce law. It also considers matters of process and procedure.

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