Lucinda Connell, Senior Solicitor with Major Family Law, the divorce and children law specialiast, comments as follows:
As the annual Resolution national conference takes place here in the North East as we speak, new Resolution national chair Nigel Shepherd has used his first speech in the role to issue a rallying cry for family lawyers to continue to call for no fault divorce.
Speaking to 400 family lawyers at Resolution’s annual conference in Gateshead, Mr Shepherd said “it’s wrong – and actually bordering on cruel – to say to couples: if you want to move on with your lives…. one of you has to blame the other.”
It is the latest in a growing number of calls from Resolution for reform to divorce law to allow for no fault divorce. Earlier this year Resolution’s outgoing chair Jo Edwards wrote to the Prime Minister asking for a commitment towards no fault divorce to be made in the upcoming Queen’s Speech. A Private Members’ Bill providing for no fault divorce, sponsored by Richard Bacon MP, is expected to be re-introduced in the next session of Parliament which commences with the Queen’s Speech on the 18th May 2016.
Mr Shepherd pointed to recent polling by Resolution that found a quarter of all divorcing couples falsify blame on their petition in order to complete the separation, and said Resolution and its members would continue to press Government ministers on the case for change. He said:
“The blame game needs to end, and it needs to end now. We will continue to make the case to Government, supported by charities, the judiciary and the many others who support no fault divorce.”
Although separation and subsequent divorce is an emotive time for all and anger can at times run high, it seems unlikely that many would disagree that no fault divorce seems the appropriate way forward.