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DIVORCE: Finding fault

12 May 2017  

Emma Morris and Lara Myers look at the factors that may prevent pronouncement of a decree, and the increasing calls for the introduction of no-fault divorce

Unlike any other type of legal contract, the contract of marriage involves taking on life-changing financial consequences without being told in advance what they actually are. This would seem wrong and unfair, although marriage is of course more than the sum of its legal parts. But how can you agree to something if you do not know what the consequences of entering into that agreement are? Would it really be so difficult for basic information to be provided to couples at the point they register their wish to marry, even in a simple leaflet form? This should not be seen as a deterrent to marriage, as if one is blind as to the obligations and consequences that will arise in the event that the marriage fails, consent on entering the union is fettered at best.

Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    Ash v Ash [1972] Fam 135

    Dart v Dart (1995) unreported, Court of Appeal, 27 October

    Livingstone-Stallard v Livingstone-Stallard [1974] Fam 47

    Miller-Smith v Miller-Smith [2009] EWHC 3623 (Fam)

    O’Neill v O’Neill [1975] EWCA Civ 1

    Owens v Owens [2017] EWCA Civ 182

    Stevens v Stevens [1979] 1 WLR 885

    Thakkar v Thakkar [2016] EWHC 2488 (Fam)

Last modified on 12 May 2017