Is there such a thing as a good divorce?

... and is it time to end the blame-game?

All the family lawyers at Rollits are members of Resolution, which is an organisation set up by solicitors, who believe in a constructive, non-confrontational approach to resolving family law issues.

Currently, Resolution is at the forefront of a national campaign to change the law to achieve a no-fault divorce process. To coincide with Resolution’s national campaign “Good Divorce Week”, next week on 28 November Resolution is holding a Parliamentary briefing session to raise awareness amongst MP’s about how removing the fault element from the divorce process would reduce conflict between divorcing couples.

Rollits are proud to support Resolution’s campaign for no-fault divorce.

Divorce is a difficult and stressful process for both parties. In most cases, the important issues to sort out relate to children arrangements, financial issues or both. Having to show fault as the reason for the divorce can increase the conflict between couples which can have a detrimental impact on the well-being of children.

A 2014, ComRes survey looked at how divorce and separation impacts on young people aged from 14 to 22 provides some thought provoking statistics. 65% said that their GCSE exam results were affected by their parents’ relationship breakdown. 24% reported that that they struggled to complete homework, essays or assignments. 32% said that they felt one parent has attempted to turn them against the other. 27% said their parents had tried to involve them in their dispute. 14% disclosed starting to or drinking more alcohol and 13% admitted to experimenting or thinking about experimenting with drugs. The data appears to show that divorce and separation impacts significantly on children’s emotional wellbeing. Reducing conflict may go some way to reversing these deeply concerning statistics.

The recent Supreme Court decision in Owens v Owens has helped the “no-fault” campaign to create momentum when it dismissed Mrs Owen’s application to be granted a divorce. The court found that Tina Owens had failed to prove, in accordance with the present law that her husband had behaved in such a way that she could not reasonably be expected to live with him. The Supreme Court’s refusal to grant her a divorce has led to Mrs Owens being trapped in a loveless and unwanted marriage. Mrs Owens will now have to wait until 2020 to issue a new petition based on 5 years separation. The Judges dealing with the Owens case said it was a matter for Parliament, not them to change the law. Some commentators have suggested that the judgment was intended to undermine the current system and push the agenda for no-fault reform and therefore the present ongoing campaign continues.

Recently the Government announced a consultation process seeking the views of all parties involved in Family Law on the fault-based divorce. Resolution intends to hand in it’s response to the Government Consultation at the briefing on 28 November. Rollits Family Law team have participated in the Consultation process fully supporting a change to no fault divorce in order to remove blame from the process, thus lowering stress and anxiety and reducing the negative impact of conflict on children. Ending the “blame-game” may help divorcing couples to leave their marriage with more self-respect and dignity making the process more compassionate to benefit themselves and their children.

 

Posted on: 23/11/2018

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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