A campaign by The Times newspaper for the law to be changed to end fault-based divorce has been welcomed by National Family Mediation (NFM), England and Wales’ largest provider of post-divorce solutions on parenting, money and property.
 
NFM has long campaigned for no-fault divorce and its Chief Executive Jane Robey says the newspaper campaign again highlights outdated laws that provoke separating couples to pick a fight with their ex. The charity’s President is Baroness Brenda Hale, the President of the Supreme Court, who offered her support to The Times campaign in an interview published on 27 November.
 
Jane Robey says: “Outdated divorce laws which mean someone has to be proved ‘at fault’ - even when a couple agrees on the need to separate - creates a bidding war which then often escalates to a full-blown courtroom battle brimming with resentment and anger.
 
“The current legal need to prove a spouse’s ‘unreasonable behaviour’ fuels bad feeling between a couple. Very often we find that couples who, for whatever reason, have decided to separate just want to get on with it, and make a fresh start.
 
“These archaic laws deliberately provoke separating couples to pick a fight with their ex, to the detriment of the future of everyone in the family.”
 
Efforts to reform divorce law have failed because legislation has been introduced privately, without the weight of government backing that would see it reach the Statute Book.
 
Jane Robey said: “If the government took the opportunity to bring forward its own legislation for no-fault divorce, time would be allocated and the Bill would be passed.
 
“For Ministers it’s not a question of the volume of people affected, or the impact of legislative change. That’s undeniable. It’s one of will. It’s high time for Ministers to take long-awaited steps to divorce reform.”

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