‘No-fault divorce’ undermines marriage, campaigners say.
Coalition for Marriage (C4M), Britain’s foremost pro-marriage group, warns that weakening the law on marriage causes great damage to society.
It says a campaign fronted by The Times newspaper “would make divorce an administrative process that could not be defended in court by the abandoned party”.
C4M fears that the introduction of no-fault divorce could result in the loss of 10,000 marriages a year and reduce the status of marriage “to that of a tenancy contract which can be dissolved at minimal notice”.
The group also warns that weakening the law would put “the most vulnerable at risk” by removing protections for those who become disabled or suffer a financial setback but cannot currently be divorced on these grounds.
Campaigners have been agitating for no-fault divorce for some time and last year, more than a hundred lawyers marched on Parliament calling for a more liberal law.
Speaking after the march in December last year, The Christian Institute’s Simon Calvert said: “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.
“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”.
A book released in September 2016 highlights the heartbreaking effects of divorce on children, by giving them a platform to share their experiences.
‘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”.