CURRENT divorce law is old fashioned and outdated and badly needs to be overhauled, a family solicitor has claimed.

It comes after Britain’s most senior judge, president of the Supreme Court Baroness Hale of Richmond, this week called for the law to be changed to end fault-based divorce.

Bryan Scant, who specialises in family law at Coffin Mew Solicitors in Old Town, has also spoken of his desire to see the introduction of no-fault divorce.

He said: “Thank goodness the campaign for no-fault divorce is gathering steam.

“On a near weekly basis, I am having conversations with people where I am asking them to come up with examples of how their ex used to annoy them, just to try to pass the unreasonable behaviour test.”

Under the present system, people must accuse their husband or wife of being at fault in order to end their marriage without waiting for at least two years, which often results in couples lying about each other’s conduct.

Mr Scant said: “The law can be changed by simply adding a new ground to the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, until the government is able to substantially review the law on marriage, divorce and cohabitation. The current legislation is very piecemeal having been amended to introduce civil partnerships in 2004 and same sex marriages in 2013. It needs an overhaul.”

He praised the courts’ efforts at modernisation, but insisted that their encouragement of mediation between the two parties is “pointless” if the government “continues to force people to blame one another to be able to obtain a divorce”.

In her first national newspaper interview since taking up her position as the head of the Supreme Court, Baroness Hale told the Times: “Most people, when their marriage is at an end, do not want to separate for two years, or five if the other party to the marriage won’t consent to a divorce. So they bring proceedings based on either the adultery or behaviour of the other party. that enables, in most cases, them to get a quick divorce.

“But the basis of that decree hardly ever tells the whole story, who was to blame. It looks as if it is doing so, but it is not, and so causes injustice, probably on both sides.”

Mr Scant added: “In my experience, divorce is not something that people enter into lightly. Being able to do so on a no-fault basis won’t change that, so I fail to see the government’s reluctance to change the law.

“We may live in a forward-thinking country, but our approach to divorce is archaic.”