Janet Street-Porter’s admission shows divorce law in disrepute

Last week media personality, journalist and broadcaster Janet Street-Porter admitted that she lied to the court in order to get a quicker divorce.

Speaking on ITV’s Loose Women programme about the current divorce system, which requires one party to prove the other was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage unless the parties have been separated for at least two years, Ms Street-Porter said that she had lied to the court about the reasons for the breakdown of her marriage, as she wanted to get divorced and could not wait two years. She said:

“It’s a ridiculous system as it means all over the country people are lying because they want to get divorced in less than two years and if one of you doesn’t agree to get divorced after two years, you’ve got to stay together for five years, which is even more ridiculous.”

Her comments were made on the day after the Nuffield Foundation published a report saying that the current divorce system causes unnecessary conflict. The report recommended the introduction of a system of no-fault divorce.

Ms Street-Porter’s comments merely confirm what we already know: that the current divorce system is being abused by parties and judges alike. Parties are ‘manufacturing’ or exaggerating allegations of unreasonable behaviour or adultery, so that they don’t have to wait until they have separated for two years before getting a divorce, and judges are allowing divorce petitions through without question, as they understand that the marriage is over if that’s what one party wants. The law is being brought into disrepute, and the sooner we have a proper no-fault divorce system the better.

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Image of Janet Street-Porter by Jem Stone, licensed under CC BY 2.0.