经济学人:离婚法案 过错游戏(01)

Britain

英国

Divorce Law: Blame Game

离婚法案:过错游戏

The absence of no-fault divorce in England and Wales looks updated.

英格兰及威尔士无过错离婚的缺失亟待解决。

People stay in loveless marriages for many reasons: anxiety about the impact of splitting up on their children; financial dependency on a spouse; fear of loneliness.

人之所以待在一段无爱的婚姻里,原因有很多:担心离婚对子女造成的影响,对配偶的经济依赖,还有对孤独的恐惧。

Tini Owens is stuck in hers because a judge refused to give her a divorce.

Tini Owens困在自己的婚姻里,因为法官拒绝判她离婚。

She said that her husband's treatment of her, including scolding her in front of their housekeeper and ignoring her over a meal, amounted to unreasonable behaviour, grounds for divorce.

她说正是因为丈夫的粗暴对待,包括当着管家的面责骂她,吃饭时从头到尾忽视她,以及种种不可理喻的行为,成了她离婚的理由。

The judge, however, disagreed, saying they were “minor altercations…to be expected in a marriage”.

然而法官不同意,说他们是“小打小闹——这在一段婚姻中是预料得到的”。

Since her husband has refused to consent to the break-up, she must wait five years.

因为丈夫拒绝同意离婚,她必须再等五年。

Ms Owens has asked the Court of Appeal to overturn the ruling.

Owens女士提起上诉,要求法院撤销判决。

Her position would be simpler if England and Wales did not insist on blame being part of divorce.

如果英格兰和威尔士不再坚持过错是离婚不可缺少的因素,那么她的处境会简单得多。

As well as unreasonable behaviour, marital breakdown can be demonstrated by evidence of adultery or desertion.

除了不合理行为,出轨和遗弃也可以证明婚姻的破裂。

The alternative is at least two years' separation.

前提是双方至少分居两年。

But the notion of fault is often little more than a charade.

但是过错的概念和做戏并无差别。

Kerstin Beyer, a family lawyer, cites a case where the “unreasonable” behaviour involved the wife pursuing an “independent social life”.

家庭律师Kerstin Beyer有案例为证,即”不合理”行为涉及妻子追求”独立的社会生活”。

Insisting that somebody must be to blame makes an already difficult process harder.

坚持离婚必须以至少一方有错为前提,使得已经艰难的程序更加艰难。

This week Lord Wilson, a Supreme Court judge, added his voice to those calling for “no-fault” divorce.

本周最高法院法官威尔森先生对呼吁无过错离婚的人表示支持。

Others in favour include Sir James Munby, president of the family division of the High Court, Lady Hale, another Supreme Court justice, most of those working in family law and organisations such as Relate, a charity that provides relationship counselling.

其他赞成的人还有高等法院家事庭主席James Munby先生,和另一位最高法院法官Hale女士,他们中的大多数和婚姻家庭法打交道,并在一些相关组织工作,比如Relate——一个提供情感咨询的慈善机构。

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