Spares Children From Scarring Divorce Process

The Cabinet has given their recommendation to the Attorney General to introduce a bill to amend the Marriage Persons Act at the next Sitting of the House of Representatives. This bill will allow the removal of fault grounds for an application for judicial separation before the Family Court, which will be replaced with the ground of incompatibility.

According to the AG, this bill will not only speed up the divorce process - which can take years - but will also protect children who are caught in the middle of what are sometimes brutal battles between the parents. Here's how she explained it:

Magali Marin-Young, Attorney General
"Divorces on fault grounds on the basis of cruelty and adultery, if those were highly contested you could take anywhere between 3-7 years trial process in some instances, because it becomes extremely acrimonious with husband and wife filing competing affidavits. So, the process was very lengthy. In divorce proceedings I can tell you and it becomes just what he says and as soon as he files an affidavit, she files an affidavit denying those allegations and it could take anywhere between 3 years or more to get to trial where the divorce is contested. Where the divorce is on no fault grounds, it could be completed within 6 months."

"As it currently stands you can apply for a divorce on the basis of consent. You can also apply for a divorce on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage as evidence by 3 years separation. Thats the law right now. You have that option. You also have the option to apply on the basis of marital fault grounds, you accuse your husband of adultery, you accuse him of cruelty or you accuse him of abandonment or desertion. So what the law does is simply remove the fault grounds. We are not introducing no fault, it exists. We are removing the acrimonious proceedings and the reason behind that is simply because it is not in the family's interest to have a husband and wife in a court of law hurling accusations at each other, bitterness accrue and the husband and wife are at each other and children are being affected. It is in the family's interest for you to remove the court as an arena for the husband and wife to be hurling these accusations."

Channel 7