I am a strong believer in family values, and that means a strong commitment to marriage - but forcing people to stay in a failed marriage can have terrible consequences. So can forcing people to blame one another in court if they wish to part.
So I welcome the fact that from today new measures come into effect that will allow couples to divorce without apportioning blame for the separation – helping to reduce acrimony in divorce proceedings.
- The breakdown of a marriage can be agonising for everyone involved, especially children, and so it is right that we seek to reduce the acrimony couples suffer when divorcing.
- That is why the government has changed the law to allow couples to apply for divorce without having to prove fault, which will mean a spouse or joint couple can state that their marriage has irretrievably broken down rather than apportion blame for the separation, while introducing a minimum 20-week cooling off period between the application and conditional order to allow couples to reflect and confirm their decision.
- These measures will spare families going through lengthy and costly courtroom battles and help protect children from acrimonious separations.