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'I had to be the one to take the the blame'

In April 2019 it was announced that divorce laws in England and Wales are to be overhauled, so couples can split faster and with less acrimony.

Couples will be able to apply for no-fault divorces meaning they'll be able to avoid long legal battles.

It represents the biggest change in divorce law in 50 years.

BBC Radio 5 Live's Your Call programme discussed this with listeners...

(Photo: Getty Images)

5 Live listeners got in touch to share their stories.

When a couple do get divorced they need to go on and forge new lives and maybe it’s better to try and keep any acrimony to a minimum."
John

Amelia is currently going through a divorce and believes a no-fault divorce would have avoided unnecessary stress and time if she'd had the option:

“The key thing for me when I think about a no-fault divorce is that you are able to really maintain focus on the future and what you want your relationship with your ex-partner to look like. Especially if children are involved, so that you can really be focused on maintaining a more positive relationship versus the negativity that come from going through issues that have come to pass.

“We’ve come out the other side of quite a stressful year, so the relationship is good now and we can really focus on our daughter and being good parents for her and maintain a respectful friendship. I think the massive difference that being able to have a no-fault divorce would have made would have been getting to that point sooner.”

John, who runs DadBlogUK, got divorced around 12 years ago:

“I would say divorce is always tragic and it is a case of should people be able to get away scot-free if their behaviour has been atrocious and I guess a lot of people would say no. But we do need to look at the bigger picture, when a couple do get divorced they need to go on and forge new lives and maybe it’s better to try and keep any acrimony to a minimum.”

(Photo: Getty Images)

Sam separated from his wife after finding out that she’d had an affair. They tried six months of reconciliation and have now decided to wait two years before divorcing:

“When we started to talk about what happens next, what we do about divorce, words like ‘adultery’ suddenly brought us all the way back to that first really difficult stage and it brings in all the animosity and the blame again.

“It pulls everything back to a stage that you keep trying to get past, really just for the best interest of the kids.

“You sort of never can quite move on until you are either forced to go down a route of saying ‘well you committed adultery’ and therefore we can go down a ‘quicker route’ or we just wait it out until the courts catch up with us and we can have a sort of no-blame marriage after a period of time.”

(Photo: Getty Images)

This listener didn't leave her name:

"I got divorced three years ago and had to be the one to take the the blame as it was the only way I could get out of the marriage. My ex-husband was and still is a control freak. I couldn't take it anymore but he refused it allow me to divorce him.

"I had to get him to divorce me as his reputation was the most important thing. I took the 'hit', so to speak, to protect my children and myself from anymore emotional harm."

(Photo: Getty Images)

John has been divorced for nine years but says he found the process hard:

I was lucky enough that my now ex-wife and I put the kids front and centre at the beginning."

“From the moment you sit down with a lawyer for the first time, the language is archaic and adversarial and it puts you in a place where you don’t really need to be.

“I was lucky enough that my now ex-wife and I put the kids front and centre at the beginning and we said, 'whatever goes on between us, whatever lumps we want to tear out of each other now, we don’t do that in front of the kids'.”

Another listener said:

“Waited the two years of living separately to get a no-blame divorce, very happy with that decision and decision not to use solicitors. On very good terms with ex-husband, and have a very happy seven-year-old daughter.

"The three of us went on a day trip yesterday for her birthday. Try not to use solicitors if possible! Much less acrimonious.”