‘No-fault divorce could reduce marriage to a tenancy agreement’

The liberalising of divorce law could be a “conveyor belt” for marriage breakdown, the Campaign Director of the Coalition for Marriage has said.

Thomas Pascoe was speaking out as part of a Radio 2 debate with Paddy O’Connell earlier this week.

Campaigners have been calling for a weakening of the law to introduce a ‘no fault’ divorce system.

Easy divorce

Catherine Thomas, Managing Director of Vardags’ divorce lawyers, said divorce should be made ‘an administrative process’.

“It should just be that if one person wants to leave their marriage they should be able to.”

But Pascoe warned against weakening the law.

‘Particularly vulnerable’

He said a change in the law would put “abused and vulnerable people” at risk.

“Bullies will be able to put people into bad deals because we’re removing protections from the system.”

Pascoe believes that no fault divorce reduces marriage to “essentially a tenancy agreement” and fundamentally changes what marriage is.

He pointed out that many thousands of couples who file divorce papers each year never follow through with them.

Weakening marriage

Last December, in response to pressure from lawyers for the law to change, The Christian Institute warned that such action would undermine marriage and lead to more family breakdown.

Simon Calvert, Deputy Director of the Institute said: “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.”

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