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Divorce reform: Is the end in sight by Graham Coy

This morning, “The Times”, reported that the Justice Secretary, David Gaulke, has accepted that the current divorce law based largely on “fault” needs to be replaced.

His plans, apparently, are to introduce a Bill before Parliament sometime after May this year to introduce “no-fault divorce”.

Stowe Family Law along with many other solicitors, barristers, judges and others have been campaigning for a long time for the government to replace the current law which is based on an Act of Parliament introduced in 1969.

Many other countries including Scotland, most countries in mainland Europe and most states in North America already have a system which does not require one person to blame another before they can get divorced.

Currently, there are about 110,000 divorces each year in England and Wales and in 60% of those, one person relies either upon adultery or behaviour.

There is nearly universal acceptance that this does not help couples sort things out between them, issues concerning their children and issues about their finances, and does enormous harm to a relationship that has already broken down.

The paper reports David Gaulke as saying that the current law “needlessly rakes up the past to justify the legal ending of a relationship that is no longer a beneficial and functioning one. Where a marriage has irretrievably broken down, the law should not frustrate achieving better outcomes, especially for children.”

Sir Paul Coleridge, a former High Court Judge of the Family Division, and now Chairman of the Marriage Foundation, also welcomed this development saying that no-fault divorce “stops divorce being a sterile blame game and allows people to make the most important decision in their lives in a right and considered way.”

As the largest specialist family law firm in the country, Stowe Family Law welcomes this development and hopes that legislation will be introduced as early as possible and that Parliament will give its approval as quickly as possible. It should attract all parties support.

Reform is desperately overdue and politicians of all parties need to ensure that reform isn’t delayed any longer.

Graham Coy
8 February 2019

Graham was based at the firm's London family law office. His career as a family law specialist has spanned three decades. He is an experienced advocate, mediator and arbitrator who has worked in all areas of family law.

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  1. David Mortimer says:

    Involuntary divorce is a marvelous tool that allows for the infinite expansion of government power.

  2. Helen Dudden says:

    I feel an agreed divorce can only benefit all concerned. Divorce has been and is, a very stressful event in anyone’s life.

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