Family Law Hub

Press release New divorce law to end the blame game

New legislation to overhaul divorce law and reduce family conflict.

  • The Justice Secretary has today announced that a new law is on its way, meaning divorcing couple will no longer have to blame each other for the breakdown of their marriage. 

    The announcement has been welcomed by Resolution, who have been calling for change for over 30 years. Former Resolution Chair, Nigel Shepherd said:

    "We welcome these proposals, which almost entirely reflect Resolution's response to the consultation, and we're pleased the government has listened to calls from our members and others to introduce these changes.

    Resolution's current Chair, Margaret Heathcote, added:

    "In my speech to Resolution's National Conference last Friday, I called on the Lord Chancellor to introduce legislation as soon as possible to end the blame game. Today's announcement is an important move towards that.

    "We remain concerned that so much government and Parliamentary time is being spent on Brexit and other issues at the moment, and look forward to working with the Ministry of Justice and others to ensure the law is changed at the earliest possible opportunity.

    A date has currently not been set for the new law to be introduced. 

    You can read the full story here.

    The original public consultation, which opened on 15th September 2018, received 3372 responses. Those responding to the consultation were members of the public, family law practitioners such as members of the judiciary, family lawyers, mediators and social workers, and academics and organisations with professional interest.

    The key findings from the consultation were a broad support for retaining the ground for divorce of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. On the proposal to remove evidence through 'fact' as a requirement of irretrievable breakdown, many respondents noted that conduct-based facts cause pain and conflict through assigning "blame", which in many cases may in reality lie on both sides.

    The findings also show strong support for joint applications and removing the ability to contest. 

    The consultation considers time frames, finding a broad consensus on retaining the bar on divorce within the first year and retaining the two-stage decree process. The full consultation response can be found here



News, published: 09/04/2019

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Published: 09/04/2019

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