Marriage has turned from a contract into a trap for men

Jul 9, 2020 by

by William Collins, The Conservative Woman:

THE ‘no-fault divorce’ Act, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, was slipped quietly through Royal Assent on June 25. 

In practice we have had no-fault divorce for a long time, though this Act does indeed consolidate it. However, the even more substantive purpose of the Act is to make divorce unilateral.

This is the key part of the Act which makes both no-fault and unilateral action clear:

(1) Subject to section 3, either or both parties to a marriage may apply to the court for an order (a ‘divorce order’) which dissolves the marriage on the ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

(2) The court dealing with an application under subsection (1) must – (a) take the statement to be conclusive evidence that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, and (b) make a divorce order.’

Admirably clear. The word ‘either’ in (1) means that just one of the couple may apply for the divorce, simply making a statement of irretrievable breakdown. Para (3) states that the court must take that statement as conclusive evidence (i.e., no-fault, no reason, no evidence) and then must make a divorce order.

The initial order is provisional. There is a cooling-off period within the Act which, in most circumstances, will mean that a divorce is final after 26 weeks from initial application. A confirmation that the applicant wishes to proceed is required 20 weeks after initial application. The unilateral nature of the new divorce provision is reiterated at this point: ‘in the case of an application that is to proceed as an application by one party to the marriage only, that party has confirmed to the court that they wish the application to continue’.

The best spin one can put on this is that marriage is now pointless.

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