A report (‘No Contest: Defended Divorce in England and Wales’) finds that the majority of defences arise from quarrels about who is ‘at fault’, but in practice this is not something that can be determined by the courts, and that most cases are settled, rather than decided by a judge. The research is a follow-up to the report ‘Finding Fault’, which reported that the law is incentivising people to exaggerate claims of ‘behaviour’ or adultery to get a quicker divorce. The new report also highlights that the financial and emotional costs, and discouragement from the family justice system, mean that defending a divorce is not an accessible option for most people. It concludes that the law is generating disputes and then failing to remedy them, and calls for reform of the divorce law to remove the concept of fault entirely.
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