The role of conduct in divorce suits and claims for ancillary relief
Henry Hood, Partner in the Family department at Hunters, discusses the Divorce Reform Act 1969 and the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Act 1970, and that taken together, created an entirely new regime for divorce and ancillary financial provisions.
Until 1969 divorce was not, in principle anyway, possible in the absence of bad (usually adulterous) behaviour and it was only the arrival of the concept of marital breakdown which made it necessary to consider conduct as a discrete factor affecting financial claims rather than the sine qua non of the whole divorce process.
Following the Divorce Reform Act 1969, it became possible for the first time to be divorced having done no wrong. No longer did it follow that where a divorce took place a marital offence had necessarily occurred from which financial compensation could flow as a matter of right at common law.
Read the full article, in Family Law via a PDF, here.