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MPs Under Pressure To Introduce “No Fault” Divorce

MPs Under Pressure To Introduce “No Fault” Divorce

On 30th November, 150 family lawyers went to Parliament to meet with MPs and Peers on the subject of “no fault” divorce.

This major lobby of Parliament was organised by the family law organisation Resolution, who represent 6,500 family justice professionals and are committed to supporting couples to reach non-confrontational resolutions to family disputes. Resolution are concerned that the current legal requirements often result in one of the couple having to attribute fault, even when they don’t want to, leading to unnecessary hostility and arguments.

Resolution’s call for no fault divorce is supported by, among others, the most senior family judge in the country; the deputy president of the Supreme Court; the Family Mediation Task Force, and Relate. The topic was also the focus of a recent House of Commons Library briefing paper.

In a recent survey of family justice professionals carried out by Resolution, over 90% said that divorce law needs to be modernised to allow for no fault divorce. Those who responded also predicted that a change in legislation would see a rise in the use of mediation and lead to a reduction in the amount of court time spent dealing with children or financial issues relating to divorce.

Resolution say the current law comes as a shock to many separating couples, who enter divorce proceedings unaware that unless they attribute blame, they will have to wait at least two years to legally end their relationship. Over three quarters of the family lawyers who took part in the survey agreed that their clients struggle to understand why they have to assign blame on the petition, especially if they've both agreed to separate.

The vast majority of Resolution members surveyed (91.9%) said they often see separating couples choosing to cite unreasonable behaviour or adultery rather than face the prospect of putting their lives on hold or suffering the financial uncertainty that would come with a two-year wait.

If you would like help and advice on any aspect of Family Law please contact Katie-Lee Pearson or Christine McLay on 01325 466461. Email katie-lee.pearson@close-thornton.co.uk or christine.mclay@close-thornton.co.uk

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