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Office for National Statistics report shows need for family law reform

 

By Jessica Pitt

The ONS has published it's annual data report on divorce trends in England and Wales which can be found here: 

 https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/divorce/bulletins/divorcesinenglandandwales/2016

This highlights two areas in need of reform:  

whilst divorce is on the increase, it is still not as high as it's 2003 peak which means that there are increasing numbers of cohabiting couples without appropriate legal protection; and 

 unreasonable behaviour remains the most common ground for divorce meaning that couples who want an immediate amicable separation are left with no choice other than to divorce on a fault basis.

Resolution have been campaigning for reform in both areas of the law with overwhelming support from the professional community and  commentators.

“For decades, 'unreasonable behaviour' has been the most common reason for divorce among opposite-sex couples, yet many are forced into playing this ‘blame game’ by our archaic divorce laws. “That’s why we have repeatedly called on government to legislate for no-fault divorce, and will continue to do so. This call is echoed by senior legal figures, such as Baroness Hale, the President of the Supreme Court, and Sir Paul Coleridge, the Chair of the Marriage Foundation. “In the face of such overwhelming support, and with the Supreme Court due next Spring to hear the appeal of Mrs Owens, whose divorce has been denied because of the current law, the government needs to listen and take action. “It’s time to make no-fault the default.”
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