Thousands of couples 'exaggerate marriage faults to get divorce'

Thousands of couples 'exaggerate marriage faults to get divorce'
Thousands of couples 'exaggerate marriage faults to get divorce'
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A third of divorcees lie about cheating, a partner's unreasonable behaviour and length of separation to get their divorce through the courts, a study has found.

Thousands of couples exaggerated faults in their marriage to get around outdated divorce law, figures from law firm Slater and Gordon revealed.

Around 14% stretched the truth about adulterous partners, with 13% lying about how long they had been separated.

Some 42% of of couples said assigning blame to either party left their children upset, while more than a quarter admitted it left them with sour feelings towards their ex.

It follows the case of Tini Owens, who was forced to stay in a "loveless marriage" after the Supreme Court last month ruled she should stay married to Hugh Owens.

Mr Owens refused to agree to a divorce and denied Mrs Owens' allegations about his unreasonable behaviour.

A YouGov poll last month found 69% of Britons supported a change in the law to allow couples to divorce without having to show their spouse is at fault.

Divorce in the UK can be obtained on grounds of unreasonable behaviour, adultery, desertion or separation of at least two years.

While the "no-fault" divorce is not an option by law, 80% of those surveyed said they would have chosen the option had it been allowed.

A total of 1,011 divorcees took part in the poll.

Of those, 41% admitted they opted to divorce after falling out of love with their partner.

Family lawyer Joanne Green said: "Many couples feel they are stuck between a rock and a hard place, they want to split on good terms but have to find fault in order to get a divorce.

"The Tini Owens case has highlighted how divorce law just hasn't kept up with the times. Clearly, many couples would prefer an amicable, no-fault split, but far from helping that happen the current process seems to inflame the situation and incites couples to enter into a blame game.

"Although there are many varied reasons for a marriage breakdown, if over 40% of those surveyed said they had simply fallen out of love, the law should reflect that and give the option of a no-fault divorce."