Government urged to press ahead with divorce reforms

Campaigners have said that Brexit negotiations should not distract MPs from the pressing need to reform the country’s divorce laws.

There are concerns that a considerable number of proposed changes could be swept to one side as Parliament grapples with the issues arising from our departure from the EU.

Among the issues in danger of falling off the agenda is the drive to introduce a system of no-fault divorce.

Resolution, the family law association, has sensed that momentum has been building behind calls for widespread changes to the current process.

Addressing a conference of 500 family justice professionals in Birmingham, Nigel Shepherd, the association’s national chairman, insisted there was growing support for reforms.

In particular, he cited the well-publicised Owens v Owens case – in which a woman was refused a divorce petition, despite having claimed she was trapped in a lonely and loveless relationship.

“It’s simply wrong in this day and age that someone should be forced to stay in a loveless marriage because the behaviour in the divorce petition wasn’t deemed ‘unreasonable’ enough,” said Mr Shepherd.

In the face of this overwhelming support for a change in law to allow for no fault divorce, it does beg the question, what is the Government waiting for?

“There are more than 110,000 divorces each year – every day the Government delays, more than 300 couples get a divorce. That’s 600 people, every day, running the gauntlet of a system that actively encourages conflict and blame.”

OGR Stock Denton has a wealth of experience advising on divorce proceedings. If you would like further information about our services, please contact our head of Family Law Peter Martin or visit.

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