Texas, along with every other state in the U.S., now allows no-fault divorces. That essentially means that divorcing parties don’t need to prove to a court that a divorce is reasonable. The dissolution of a marriage can be granted without listing reasons why the marriage won’t work.
Disputes related to divorces in the U.S. take place in order for details regarding money and child custody to be determined. Things work a bit differently in England and a recent New York Times report highlights some of the lowlights in England’s divorce process, making the Texas family law process seem like a walk in the park.
The most recent fight for legalizing no-fault divorce in the U.S. occurred in New York. It was the last state to join the list of no-fault states in 2010. Some in England are fighting that same fight to get rid of fault divorce laws. They believe that having to list detailed reasons for seeking a divorce makes the legal process longer, more humiliating and filled with lies.
The classic “irreconcilable differences” reason that so many in the U.S. depend on is not sufficient in England. Those wanting to divorce there have to prove more specific reasons why the marriage won’t work. Many of the cases fall under the legal justification of unreasonable behavior.
But what, according to some family law professionals, has been ridiculously argued under that justification? As examples of unreasonable behavior, unhappy spouses have argued that their spouse makes them eat tuna, makes them speak and dress like they are on Star Trek, changes the channel too quickly and other petty, humiliating points.
One man says he was blamed for things during his divorce in England that were untrue because his wife was trying to speed up the process and fulfill the evidence requirement of a fault divorce. In other cases, spouses who are especially emotional and angry will use the fault route to humiliate their estranged spouses.
Those in England who are opposed to getting rid of fault divorce worry that doing so would make divorce too easy, decreasing the value that the country puts on marriage. Those who support no-fault divorces argue that no-fault divorce doesn’t make divorce any easier; rather, it just takes away some of the ugliness that can make an already stressful process more stressful.
Source: The New York Times, “Tuna Again? In Fault-Finding England, It’s a Cause for Divorce,” Sarah Lyall, April 7, 2012