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Unhappy spouses celebrate as England adopts 'no-fault divorce'

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By Jitendra JOSHI

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Easy come, easy go. - C'est la vie.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Might as well have a 1969 theme song to go with your new found freedom:

Love, American Style” -The Cowsills

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ee3P6K084zc -
1 ( +7 / -6 )

A survey commissioned by the law firm Slater and Gordon pointed to an unintended consequence -- 32 percent of cohabiting respondents said they were more likely to get married now that the divorce process was simpler

This isn’t much of a surprise to me. I know people in the UK who cohabit and say one of the reasons they didn’t marry was the complication of divorce. Other reasons included it being meaningless, out-of-date and a waste of money. The waste of money argument is a bit questionable because you don’t need all the rip-off expensive church nonsense - do it on the cheap and be in line for tax-breaks. You’d almost certainly save in the long run.

The cost of living crunch in the UK may see more cohabiting couples marry.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Nowadays, getting married seems so casual and convenient worldwide.

England & Wales are setting a new example, making divorce equally if not more convenient.

In that case, what is marriage institution for..?

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

 I know people in the UK who cohabit and say one of the reasons they didn’t marry was the complication of divorce.

If you're going into marriage with divorce in the picture, better not to marry in the first place.

14 ( +27 / -13 )

Common sense over common law.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

My sister works in an elementary school in the UK. Of the 33 kids in her class only 5 are living with a mother and father who are married. This is not uncommon, many question the point of getting "officially married".

5 ( +12 / -7 )

 I know people in the UK who cohabit and say one of the reasons they didn’t marry was the complication of divorce.

If you're going into marriage with divorce in the picture, better not to marry in the first place

I see it as practical thinking. Life isn’t a romance film. The stats tell us there is a good chance of divorce which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Hard if not impossible to predict how you or your partner will change.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Of the 33 kids in her class only 5 are living with a mother and father who are married.

Just don’t expect any #metoo support for the embattled minority, Canute-like trying to avoid being deluged by the dysfunction all around.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

My first wife we ended up hating each other, too young too stupid. Nobody’s fault just ours. She did take all the wedding gifts but, I really didn’t care. I was free. In my case no extramural affairs, we just grew together to hate each other. Much happier now.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

There's no point in living together if you are not legally binded. I'm old fashioned.

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

cleoToday  01:48 pm JST

 I know people in the UK who cohabit and say one of the reasons they didn’t marry was the complication of divorce.

If you're going into marriage with divorce in the picture, better not to marry in the first place.

Why when I was reading the article did I say to myself " I bet I know what Cleo would comment".

Scroll down and voila I was spot on.

The old Christian forced on the world marriage for life is a joke, a bad joke Christiania played on the world.

Jews had divorce, Islam was smart enough to include divorce, the Romans, Greeks, etc... all had divorce before Christianity came along and put its nose into things.

Life time marriages, in a world where women often died giving birth, life expectancy was only a fraction of what it is today, life long marriage was 20 years 30 in a few Lucky cases.

My great grandfather was married for 60 years his wife my great grandmother was married for 15 years, so how did that happen?

Well my great grandfather was Irish was married 3 times as 2 wives died in childbirth!

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

Stunning how so many of the comments here seem to ignore the possibility of a person changing their mind as time goes on. Like "If you're going into marriage with divorce in the picture, better not to marry in the first place." Sure, don't get married if you plan to get divorced later that same day, but obviously that's not what this change is law is for. People who, after many years, change their minds.

Marriage is not a prison. If a couple decide that they're simply better apart, they should be allowed to do so cleanly. Before this change in the law, one of the partners had to commit perjury to make the divorce happen. That's clearly not a good thing.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

It's hard for me to believe that it would be up to a judge to decide whether or not you can leave a marriage. That really smacks of authoritarianism.

I'm also not sure why people so often seem to think that marriage is the goal of a relationship. What if you never want children? What if you're an atheist? What if you just don't believe in marriage? What if you are non-monogamous or polyamourus? What if you think marriage is an outdated, patriarchal system that represses both men and women?

It's a choice, not a requirement, and that choice is best made by the two people it involves. Not a judge, and certainly not society at large. It mystifies me why people care so much about the personal relationship dynamics of total strangers.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

zichiToday  03:41 pm JST

Nit picky again!

The point if it excaped you was that they had provisions in their religious for divorce.

It may have been lopsided and not equal but they had them.

Christianity didn't until far into Protestantism and even then.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

MatToday  03:27 pm JST

Stunning how so many of the comments here seem to ignore the possibility of a person changing their mind as time goes on.

Not at all, most making comments not in favour are older than I am, ( and I am no spring chicken) still live in a world that hasn't existed in well over 40 years.

The kind of people I see regularly move to Quebec for work and find out no one changes their names and the "maiden" name is used.

The kind of people that I recently had a conversation nearly upset that I "let" my Japanese wife keep her birth surname. (Option generally only available to a few rare cases) the " my wife will take my name because that is the way it should be" junk comments came out.

Good thing my ex wife (first wife) didn't take my surname, can you imagine the problems going around as a Japanese female with an very obviously western European surname in Katakana! Like a great big tattoo on her forehead saying "I am divorced".

Time to come into the 21st century this includes Japan, we now live 80 years not 50 or less nearly every male member of my Japanese ex wife's family all over 80 had 2 wives because one died of childbirth or disease way back in the day.

So this idea of life long marriage usually only applied until death and that wasn't 80 years or more.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Good thing my ex wife (first wife) didn't take my surname, can you imagine the problems going around as a Japanese female with an very obviously western European surname in Katakana! Like a great big tattoo on her forehead saying "I am divorced".

I thought most divorcees would revert to their maiden name. No fault divorce sounds great, and I hope it means that the ex-wife is not expecting to be paid alimony for life and will work.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Some lawyers welcomed the end of an adversarial divorce culture, while stressing that legal advice remained essential for resolving financial and child custody issues.

I suspect this is the area where the gloves really come off.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Seriously, I read once where a couple were at daggers drawn over who gets custody over the Billy the budgie

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The old Christian forced on the world marriage for life is a joke, a bad joke Christiania played on the world.

...and you associate my opinion with 'old Christian' because ...why?

I'm not a Christian.

this idea of life long marriage usually only applied until death

duh....

If a couple decide that they're simply better apart, they should be allowed to do so cleanly

I couldn't agree more. There is a world of difference between aiming to establish a responsible, stable relationship that you intend to make a go of, and looking for a cop-out before you even get started. If things don't work out, after you've put 150% effort into making it work, then a divorce is sensible, practical and humane.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Good decision!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I thought most divorcees would revert to their maiden name.

Actually no, on most countries, the woman ( and it is nearly always the woman) has to pay to change their name back to their "maiden" name.

One reason my friend's mother divorced in Japan for 30 years never officially changed her name back, it cost and required going to court.

Laws in Japan have changed and today it is simple and cost free.

But in other countries it is not, in Canada it is free but cost the government millions every year.

Think of it this way new passport, drivers license, credit card, bank account, etc...and under the law because it usually only affects women these services must be free!

Quebec just said it was no longer going to bother changing anything.

And as divorces rise the costs will rise. So a woman gets married, they change her surname on all documents. Then 10 years later she gets divorced, so now the cost of changing it all back, waste of time and bureaucracy.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

*this idea of life long marriage usually only applied *until death

duh....

Nice try at the editing to make a false point.

So let me make sure people don't take what you cleverly cut out in your edit to mean what you want it to!

I wrote

"So this idea of life long marriage usually only applied until death and that wasn't 80 years or more."

Let me point out the context.

People didn't live 80 years they barely made it to 60 and the women less dying in childbirth.

So man could be married twice without ever getting divorced because his wives died (often in childbirth).

And most countries with laws still restricting divorce are Christian ones.

Japan has no fault divorce (Aka mutual consent) takes 5 minutes, civilized way why force the animosity or force people to try 150% as you put it.

Do you give the same advice for people in bad jobs a poor working conditions, just give 150% and tryaking it work?

21st century now not 18th or 19th

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Jews had divorce, Islam was smart enough to include divorce, the Romans, Greeks, etc... all had divorce before Christianity came along and put its nose into things.

Christians had divorce too, if you were wealthy and a man. (e.g. just get the Archbishop of Canterbury to agree.) I don't think it was so different in other religions and cultures.

One reason for discouraging divorce is probably for the sake of children. Understandable, I think. But of course, if marriage conditions are bad, then the children may be better off with a divorce,

The article say that English law has come into line with Scottish law. I don't think it's quite the same. My understanding is that in Scotland, if both partners agree to a divorce and have lived apart for a year then divorce can be granted. If one partner doesn't agree, then they have to have been living apart for two years for the divorce to be granted.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japanese law requires that married couples share the same surname.

Nope!

Only if both are Japanese.

Interesting that isn't it.

Been married 3 times divorced once my second wife passed away from cancer, married again a few years ago. Not one has taken my surname and Japanese law doesn't require the to

But then I am from Quebec and no one changes their name since 1981 so it is all good and makes no difference to me.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

zichiToday  04:51 pm JST

A name change in the UK is very simple. It's done by Deed Poll. People can also use the maiden name of their mothers.

https://www.ukdeedpolloffice.org/how-do-i-change-my-name/

Name changes will require the change of all legal documents like passports

And who does that burden fall to?

The man?!?!

No in 90% of heterosexual marriages it is the women that ends up with having to change her name and then again after divorce.

What an archaic process and bureaucratic nightmare!

Time to end what is basically a misogynistic/patriarchal process.

Each keep your name from birth and save time and money.

Divorce should be like Japan, a single piece of paper and done.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I would have no problems with an ex-wife continuing to use my name if she wanted and sometimes there are children involved who must retain their birth names until the age of 18 years. So we have a mother with a different name than her accompanying children through an airport that will cause alarm bells to ring.

How magnanimous of you!

My children don't have my name never had any problems and I raised them on my own as single father with two Japanese kids with Japanese names.

Airports were never a problem, school wasn't the problem as long as I carried the correct ID for the children and myself!

Oh and by the way unless your wife/children's mother is with you and the children are under 18 you will need travel documents anyways whether you have the same surname or not because most Western countries and now Japan are signatories to the Hague convention which requires you to have permission to travel with children unless both parents are present in which case the surname is still irrelevant.

Been there, done that!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

let me make sure people don't take what you cleverly cut out in your edit to mean what you want it to!

Or you could just avoid stating the obvious.

most countries with laws still restricting divorce are Christian ones.

I've expressed no option in favour of restricting divorce. Maybe you should read what I wrote, instead of what you've decided I wrote.

why force the animosity

Where do you see me forcing any animosity? I stated clearly that a couple who have decided it isn't working should be able to make a clean break.

Do you give the same advice for people in bad jobs a poor working conditions

I certainly would advise someone not to take a job if they had little to no intention of giving it a fair go. Check that conditions are acceptable and fair before signing on the dotted line. If you suspect at the start that working conditions are bad - don't sign up. If everything seems fine at the start but later you realise working conditions are unacceptable, not what you signed up for - by all means hand in your notice and look for something better.

Let's try a different perspective; if you have a pet dog that you have loved and cared for for years, and for whatever reason you find you can no longer take care of it, letting it go to a rescue organisation/putting it up for adoption are viable alternatives, in the interests of both dog and human. (= divorce is a necessary path you may have to take). That does not mean it's OK to browse the pet shops and take home a puppy you have an inkling you might not be able to care for properly because hey, when it gets too big/gets ill you can always drop it off at the pound or shelter (= going into marriage with one eye on divorce).

1 ( +5 / -4 )

zichiToday  05:15 pm JST

So what happens with name changes in Japanese marriages and divorces? Children would normally be on the family register of the father. What happens in divorce when the mother is given custody of the children. Do they remain on the father's family register? Does the mother keep the married name for the sake of the children?

Under the latest revisions the woman can retake her maiden name, in the case of a Gaijin and Japanese the children remain under the Japanese parent's koseki.

In the case of Japanese and Japanese. The children retain the father's name and koseki but new provisions allow the children to be moved to the mother's koseki and change their names to the mother's surname.

The mother can keep her married name by giving official notice within 3 months of the divorce.

Previously many women chose to keep their married name because there was no provision to move the children to her koseki or change their names, but now that this is possible most do change their names as do the children.

Most men are happy because it gives them the freedom to get married again with children on the koseki (though the record of birth and divorce remain on his koseki for 15 year then it is removed as if nothing ever happened).

0 ( +4 / -4 )

UK divorce laws still sound as silly as most of Canada and as silly as the previous blocking of divorced women in Japan to marry another person before waiting several months and attributing any child born within 300 days of divorce to the ex husband despite DNA being available.

Times have changed, even having to wait a year is to long, no wonder I keep seeing these people in the UK going " this is my girlfriend and our son/daughter" then finding out they aren't married yet because one of them is waiting on their divorce to be processed.

My sister just got divorced in Quebec, once her and her husband (now ex) settled their financial things and agreed, the divorce took 5 minutes but 6 months to process!

6 months?! Took 2 week to fully process my divorce in Japan took less than 6 months in Japan to deal with the details after me second wife died.

And people think Japan has a problem with bureaucracy.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

can you explain the difference between you letting your wife retain her family name 

I think you need to reread what I wrote I didn't care I was saying these people I was talking with we're making a big deal about in their words "letting your wife keep her surname".

Those were their words and that was their reaction as if I was being strange for doing so that for some reason she needed my permission to not change names.

I personally think it's silly then the 21st century we are still forcing mostly women to change their names to to the man's name.

In Japan one spouse must take the name of the other spouse (unless one is Gaijin then you have the option of not changing) in most cases it's the woman in rare cases and I know a few the family will request that the man change his name in order to retain the family name as there are no male heirs and often it also has to do with a family business.

The advantage of not changing names is that like in my case my son has the same name as his Japanese grandfather there are no other male heirs so therefore he will continue the family name seems to be a big deal to some people.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Who said it was easy to divorce in Japan? I've known 2 people who got divorced both after some 3 years (or more) of mediation. Both guys, although the marriage had ended the wife insisted it could be worked out which is why mediation continued. Finally both guys had to give up almost everything, one left with only the shirt on his back and the other nearly the same and both guys continue to give part of their pension to their ex. Better to divorce young

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

zichiToday  05:35 pm JST

Travelling abroad with children after separation – is permission needed?

What are you asking?

The answer is in the article you linked.

And it is quite clear ",yes"

But now it is 'PMTP'. After parents have separated, many WILL need the permission of the other parent to take their children abroad and will need to have that permission properly documented. 

As a Canadian I can assure you this part is 100% correct

For example, Canada requires the written permission of all parents or guardians to leave Canada with a child. As a result, Air Canada will not let you board the aircraft to leave Canada without a letter of permission and often ask for it to be verified prior to arriving in England. You can expect your children to be asked where Mum or Dad is. That your children are British, and/or checking in for a UK bound flight, does not alter this.

Also now that the UK is officially no longer part of the EU traveling to an EU country is now the same as a Canadian, Japanese, etc.. they UK citizen must go through immigration, and yep custody may become an issue when traveling with children,

Your article was written before brexit was completed

1 ( +4 / -3 )

LamillyToday  05:48 pm JST

You are thinking of a contested divorce, it doesn't matter what country you are in, if one party decides to contest the divorce, it is going to be a very long process,

In Japan once both parties agree a divorce takes a few minutes and once registered at the city where the koseki is located, the divorce is done, takes between 3 days and 10 days to do the registration.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Very sad, shouldn't be taken so lightly

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

All readers back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Congratulations to the U.K. for doing the right thing in step with the 21st century. All other nations, and jurisdictions should follow this example. Adverserial divorce proceedings not only can bankrupt the parties but the emotional damage to the children (if any) is immeasureable.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Maybe people should have to spend a ton of money on lawyers before they get married…

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Next question...How about still paying out cash to exes? That's usually the biggest burden.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Reckless, you wish, sadly not affected by this change.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Nowadays, people have the freedom to move once they are not happy in their marriage or just want to move for whatever reason. But many are also not ready to make the efforts to keep a long term relationship which has always highs and lows. No pain, no gain

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What nonsense I am reading here. The reason the law and judges are involved in divorce is because marriage is a legally binding contract, and you can’t just decide it doesn’t apply to you anymore, especially if finances and children are involved. As for changing your name, in the UK you can call yourself what ever name you want, as long as it is not for fraudulent purposes. You do not have to get a deed poll, all you need to do is tell people of your name change. As for religious beliefs, they should never trump the law.

it is far too easy to marry, and far to difficult to divorce. It should be the other way around. Absolutely nothing wrong with cohabiting, as long as you remember your partner is not your next of kin and you have no rights, there is no such thing as a common law marriage in England and Wales.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

there is no such thing as a common law marriage in England and Wales.

Are you sure about that? I had a "big boss" I reported to in the UK once who I got along quite well with.

He told me once over drinks that he had to pay out to a former GF that had been living with him for a few years, and even though his current GF was living at his flat, he insisted that she keep a separate residence anywhere but his and with a separate mailing address so he "wouldn't get done again", in his own words.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Marriage can be messy. To expedite things, just find a woman you hate and buy her a house.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

EvilMonkey, Luddite is correct. The circumstances you describe can come about where both live together and both are deemed by the courts to have contributed (not necessarily financially).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The reason the law and judges are involved in divorce is because marriage is a legally binding contract, and you can’t just decide it doesn’t apply to you anymore

Marriage is not actually a legally binding contract. And also, no contract is lifelong and you cannot be forced to perform a contract, although you can be forced to pay compensation for breach of contract.

While I've been happily married for a good number of years (but not as long as I've been following JT), I think legally forcing people to stay in unhappy marriages is wrong.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Save yourselves the bother and just live together. No stigma in the UK for couples or kids. No legal fees or wait when you separate. Getting married for tax breaks and perks will come back to bite you in the end. Lawyers are not free and when love goes sour things get nastier than you ever imagined possible.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nowadays, getting married seems so casual and convenient worldwide.

England & Wales are setting a new example, making divorce equally if not more convenient.

In that case, what is marriage institution for..?

No, England and Wales aren't setting an example, they are following an example.......they are now in line with the laws in Scotland, now all citizens of Britain have the same rules.

I don't get the idea that marriage should be difficult. That somehow, people should just ganbaru through and unhappy life....why? Obviously at some point 2 people thought they could make a life together, but they've decided they can't....why trap 2 people into a life they don't want? They chose to get married, so surely they can choose to separate. What IS the "institution" of marriage for? Should it carry so much weight in this day and age? The only thing it seems to do is make banks (especially in Japan) more comfortable in granting a mortgage to a gaij ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't get the idea that marriage should be difficult.

It's religious ideology. These rules were created a thousand plus years ago, when we lived in villages and farms, and religion was used as a means of directing society. But now we live in cities, have access to the internet, and the majority of people have moved past religion as being necessary. But we still have much remnants of the old religious ideology around.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

GBR48, yes I agree, with the exception of the laws on inheritance which will bite your partner if you don’t have a will and the tax man will descend like a vulture. Unless you do a Ken Dodd!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I believe all UK law should support the idea that marriage is something freely entered into by both parties. When a good relationship goes bad over time, the breakup can already cause so much pain and heartbreak, so the law should not add to that, just be there to ensure that if the breakup is not amicable, both parties are fairly treated, and if there are children, their interests come before those of the parents.

As far as things like financial support go, again they should reflect the current reality that if both partners are able to work, the financial separation should not assume one is the 'breadwinner' for life. I really don't get this Japanese notion that the dependent spouse may not have paid pension, but will be entitled to half the ex's when they retire. Pension systems should be set up that avoid making one partner dependent on the other and that this is then a millstone round the neck of the partner who earned more, for the rest of their natural. Of course if there is some good reason that one partner can't work, then I can understand the financial relationship doesn't always end with the divorce, but it seems to me that more needs doing than removing the need to make the breakup one person's 'fault' to legitimise a divorce.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Marriage is like trouble easy to get in hard to get out!!! If the lawyers are anything like the lawyers in the US I can see them grinning wide! More court cases means CHa Ching more money for the courts and the lawyers!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If the lawyers are anything like the lawyers in the US I can see them grinning wide! More court cases means CHa Ching more money for the courts and the lawyers!

Yes, these people should stay married. All they are doing is creating money for lawyers and the courts, how dare they even consider a divorce with such an outcome? They should, nay, they MUST remain married, otherwise they are playing in to evil. EVIL!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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