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Unintended consequences of new divorce petition

New form could lead to an increase in applicants naming a third party out of malice or inadvertence, warns John Darnton

22 August 2017

Before the general election, Resolution called on all major parties to include ‘no-fault’ divorce in their respective manifestos. A YouGov poll had suggested that the majority of the public believed that people should be able to seek a divorce without having to show their spouse was at fault.

In July, lawyers were informed that the Family Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2017 would come into force on 7 August 2017. This also included a change in the look and style of the divorce petition, which now asks for the name “of the person your spouse has committed adultery with”. Will this new divorce form turn back the clock by specifically containing boxes for the name and address of the third party?

To obtain a divorce the applicant must prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and give one of the following reas...

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