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Redcar MP backs no-fault divorces, just like us

If you’ve been following what we do for a while, you’ll know that no-fault divorces have been on our agenda again and again. We see the huge benefits and we hope that the bill will pass soon.

This is why we’ve recently praised the overwhelming majority of MPs, including our own local MP Jacob Young, who have backed The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill in the House of Commons.

The bill, which has been passed by the House of Lords and received 231 votes to 16 from MPs on 8 June, would allow divorces where a marriage has broken down without fault resting with either party to be passed in a minimum of six months.

It would also remove the possibility of one party contesting the divorce.

Currently, couples wishing to obtain a divorce without citing reasons such as adultery or unreasonable behaviour would need to be separated for two years if both parties agree to divorce or five years if one party disagrees.

This has been a huge campaign issue for us for many years, due to the strain put on separating families by forcing blame to be assigned in order to finalise the divorce in a quicker time frame.

In the past, the potential change in law has been met with criticism, with claims that it could make marriages too easy to dissolve, however it now appears to be met with cross-party support.

Stuart Parker, a senior solicitor in Cygnet Law’s private family law department, said: “This is a huge step forward for couples wishing to divorce as quickly and painlessly as possible when there is no chance their marriage can be saved.

“We’re delighted that our local MP, Jacob Young, supported the bill, which will, if it passes into law, allow divorces to go ahead without assigning blame to either party, something which we have seen causes unnecessary hurt and distress in otherwise amicable separations.

“Nobody enters into a marriage assuming that one day they will fall out of love or find themselves in a situation where they no longer wish to be married. It is a painful realisation and we welcome any move that removes some of the anguish in an already difficult time.

“The view that allowing a quicker divorce will somehow make marriage less important an institution is outdated, and this is a sign that we as a country are moving forward with the times. We’re acknowledging the reality rather than clinging on to an old fashioned ideal of what marriage should or shouldn’t be.”

Stuart added: “We also welcome removing the possibility of contesting divorces, as we do a lot of work with survivors of domestic abuse. Currently, only a very small number of divorces are contested, but removing the opportunity adds an additional level of security for those wishing to leave an abusive relationship. It will allow them to be free to live their lives within six months rather than five years, as it is now.”