The present law distorts the parties’ bargaining positions especially in a situation where one spouse or partner wants the divorce procedure to go through as rapidly as possible (usually dependant on the other party’s consent if it’s a two year petition or their willingness not to defend the petition) but the other spouse or partner is happy for there to be a postponement in the divorce procedure. This gives the non-consenting party an advantage in the bargaining process. On the other hand, others would argue that the non-accord spouse only has the tool if the consenting spouse cannot attest one of the grounds that is set out in the MCA 19731 and the is within their rights to suppress consent.
The existing law provokes unnecessary hostility and bitterness and the family law system encourages the parties to use the fault-based grounds as they are rapider and more efficient to use. The time period for a fault-based ground divorce takes up to 4-6 months to complete. This produces sorrow, discomfiture and resentment as the allegations are made in a public document. Furthermore, it necessitates the couple to refer to the bad elements within their marriage which might even eliminate any chances of reconciliation. However, counter arguments that are made by the supporters of the law will be that the bitterness and ill feeling forms an inevitable portion of divorce.
The preponderating law does nothing to save the marriage as the both parties are required to emphasis on making allegations. Only section 6 of the MCA 19732 is designed specifically to assist reconciliation. S6(1)3 states that the solicitor is required to certify whether or not a reconciliation was attempted when the petitioner consults a solicitor. However, the law is of no purpose or use if the parties do not consult a solicitor.
1 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973
2 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, s6
3 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, s6(1)