‘A big mistake’: MP Miriam Cates takes aim at no-fault divorce

Christian MP Miriam Cates has criticised the Government’s decision to introduce no-fault divorce as attacking the heart of marriage.

In a lengthy interview with Parliament’s The House magazine, the MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge said it was the “wrong decision” to allow couples to divorce in six months without having to give a reason and prevent a spouse from contesting the result.

She said marriage is “essentially meaningless if it is easy to get out of”.


The MP stated: “If there are no consequences, particularly for men, to leave a partner and a child, the end result of that is you get far more women bringing up children on their own. That’s not good for men, it’s not good for women, it’s certainly not good for children.”

“Marriage rates amongst the top 20 per cent of earners have not decreased much, but marriage rates amongst the bottom 20 per cent of earners have collapsed. In other words, those in Westminster do not practice what they preach.”

not good for men, it’s not good for women, it’s certainly not good for children.

Asked the extent to which her views on these topics are informed by her Christian faith, she said: “My faith is really important to me, and I wouldn’t do anything politically that didn’t align with that”.

But she added: “I think sometimes Christians are almost discriminated against, really, because people think ‘you’re not neutral, you’ve got a point of view’. But the truth is everybody has a point of view.”


Before no-fault divorce came into effect in 2022, anyone wanting to divorce their spouse had to prove their marriage had irretrievably broken down through either adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, or separation for two years with their spouse’s consent, or five years without.

The current law includes a statutory 20-week period that the Ministry of Justice described as an opportunity for couples “to reflect and turn back”.

Also see:

Lord Farmer: ‘Marriage and stable families key to safer society’

Miriam Cates MP: ‘Govt must promote marriage to tackle family breakdown’

Divorce applications highest in a decade after new quickie divorce law