Family Lawyers lobby Parliament to call for No Fault Divorce

Around 150 family lawyers and other professionals are expected at Parliament today (30/11/2016) to discuss with and lobby MP’s and Peers for the introduction of a statutory ‘No Fault Divorce’ procedure.


The event is being organised by Resolution, the body that represents 6,500 family justice professionals who are committed to supporting couples to reach non-confrontational resolutions to family disputes. The organisation says that the current legal requirements often result in one of the couple having to attribute fault even when they don’t want to. At least this can be distressing for all parties involved and at worst it can lead to unnecessary hostility and argument.


Resolution’s call for no fault divorce is supported by, among others, the most senior family judge in the country; the deputy president of the Supreme Court; the Family Mediation Task Force, and Relate.


In a recent survey of family justice professionals carried out by Resolution, over 90% said that divorce law needs to be modernised to allow for no fault divorce. As well as no fault divorce being a better option for separating couples, family lawyers also predicted that a change in legislation would see a rise in the use of mediation and lead to a reduction in the amount of court time spent dealing with children or financial issues relating to divorce.


Nigel Shepherd, National Chair of Resolution, said: “It is clear that current divorce law is not fit for today’s modern society. Divorce is already difficult enough, we don’t need it being made harder by the law pushing couples into conflicts and arguments”.


Resolution say the current law comes as a shock to many separating couples, who enter divorce proceedings unaware that, unless they attribute blame, they will have to wait at least two years to legally end their relationship.


Nigel Shepherd said: “Barely any couples decide not to proceed with their divorce once they learn about the current process - instead they are forced to play a ‘blame game’ and negotiate a system that requires one person to say it is the other’s fault. This often ends up with issues about their finances or children being resolved in court at great expense to them, emotionally and financially, and to the taxpayer.”


Historians of family law will know that there was a “No fault divorce” provision in the 1996 Family Law Act, but after continued argument in Parliament it was never brought into force. The measure was formally repealed in the Children and Families Act 2013 to the dissatisfaction of many family lawyers.


Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article.  Call our Family Law team on 020 8290 0333 or make an enquiry at

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