Family breakdown fears as lawyers call for no fault divorce

More than a hundred lawyers marched on Parliament yesterday, calling for the Government to weaken the law on divorce.

Family lawyer group Resolution, which is behind the action, is pushing for a no fault divorce system.

The Christian Institute has warned that liberalising the law further would undermine marriage and lead to more family breakdown.

Weakening marriage

Simon Calvert, Deputy Director of the Institute said: “Changing the law to facilitate quick no fault divorces would further weaken the institution of marriage – the most stable form of relationship for raising children.

“Divorce rates in the UK have been amongst the worst in Europe. The figures would be far worse but for our low marriage rate. These lawyers want to add to these appalling statistics.

“They have forgotten that family breakdown has a seriously detrimental effect on the lives of thousands of children, or that over 10,000 couples file divorce papers each year, but never follow through with them.

Mr Calvert continued: “Rather than weakening marriage, lawyers who often see at first hand the hurt and damage done by family breakdown should be arguing for schemes that back this great institution, such as compulsory marriage counselling and further financial support for married couples”.

Family breakdown

Last year, a leading relationship think tank calculated that family breakdown would cost the taxpayer a staggering £47 billion in 2015.

The Relationships Foundation warned that “the cost of family failure continues to rise”, but stressed that the financial costs fail to “take into account the intense pain and suffering felt by those experiencing family failure”.

In September this year, a new book highlighted the heartbreaking effects of divorce on children, by giving them a platform to share their experiences.

Children

‘Splitting Up: A Child’s Guide to a Grown Up Problem’, produced by leading family law firm Mishcon de Reya, includes testimonies from children and teenagers whose parents have divorced.

Speaking ahead of the book’s launch Sandra Davis, head of Mishcon de Reya’s family department, said she had become increasingly frustrated that children’s voices were not being heard during divorce proceedings.

She said: “It doesn’t surprise me seeing the children’s quotes, or how depressing or miserable they are – I have been a family lawyer for more than 30 years”.

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