Redknapp divorce highlights need for no-fault divorce

The Wilkes Partnership Solicitors

There has been significant press during the Christmas period relating to the fact that Louise and Jamie Redknapp have been granted a divorce after 19 years of marriage.

Aaron Keene, Partner in the Family department at Wilkes looks at the current regulations surrounding divorce and how no-fault divorces could ease tensions between separating parties.

The beginning of the year is seen to be one of the busiest times for couples seeking a divorce in the period immediately following the Christmas vacation, specifically, the first day back after Christmas being known as D Day or Divorce Day.

Much has been written about the fact that Louise Redknapp has filed for divorce citing the unreasonable behaviour of her ex-footballer husband as the reason for the irretrievable break down of her marriage according to the court papers, in other words it is completely his fault and nothing to do with how she has behaved.

However, the reality is she has issued proceedings on that basis and Jamie Redknapp has allowed the divorce to proceed on that basis as a means to an end ie to simply get divorced.

Jamie Redknapp will not have defended the proceedings in order to allow the divorce to go through with the minimum of fuss and expense.

How much more civilised it would be if no fault was needed to be set out in court papers to do this ie say one ground for divorce of 6 months or 1 year separation. At present if you have not have been separated two years the only grounds upon which you can divorce is the other person’s adultery or unreasonable behaviour.

I also read in the press over Christmas reference to the fact the divorce would go through if they can sort out the custody of their children.

The term Custody is outdated and has not been used in court orders since the introduction of the children act 1989 which created the terminology of “residence” and “contact”.

It has now been replaced by the child arrangements order as of April 2014, which provides for a single order to be made to set out the arrangements about who a child should live with and spend time with, without one parent being seen to have more importance than the other so far as parental rights are concerned.

Most parents now share parental responsibility, or the legal rights and responsibilities for their children.

The couple are not divorced yet, the decree nisi has been granted on 29 December 2017 which means that Louise Redknapp can apply for the decree absolute which will dissolve the marriage six weeks and one day following the pronouncement of the decree nisi i.e. on  or after 12th of February 2018.

If you would like assistance in relation to a family matter, call Aaron Keene at The Wilkes Partnership on 0121 785 4400 for further information or email