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Why should you support ‘Good Divorce’ Week and Resolution?

Posted on November 29th 2016

Helen Varty holding a poster supporting Resolution in their campaign for no fault divorce

Helen Varty, a solicitor in our family department, is a member of ‘Resolution.’ This is an organisation of 6,700 family lawyers in England and Wales. They believe in a constructive, non-confrontational approach to family law matters.

Importantly, they also campaign for improvements to the family justice system. This week (28th November – 2nd December 2016) Resolution are hosting ‘Good Divorce week,’ a week promoting their Westminster campaign for no fault divorce in the U.K and the improvement of rights for cohabiting couples.

Last week Resolution also launched a new ‘Code of Practice,’ which can be read here. As a member, Helen adheres to this code and believes it offers a better approach to family law. You can see how Helen feels the code helps her deliver a better service to her clients in the picture to the left!

What is no fault divorce’?

Currently, in order for married couples to divorce they have to either:

  1. Have been living apart for 2 years.
  2. Assign blame to one party for the breakdown of the relationship i.e. by stating that one of them had committed adultery or unreasonable behavior.

‘No fault divorce’ would, therefore, allow married couples to divorce without assigning blame. Rather, they would simply state that the marriage has broken down irrevocably. After 6 months if they still felt the same, the divorce would be finalised.

Why is no fault divorce a good thing?

Removing the blame will make it easier for separating couples to do so with as little conflict/stress as possible. With no fault divorce many more divorces could reach a dignified conclusion. Many countries around the world including Australia, the United States, and Spain allow for no fault divorce already.

Why do cohabiting couples need legal rights?

Currently, it is possible to live together with someone for decades and even to have children together and then simply walk away without taking any responsibility for a former partner. Resolution proposes that cohabitants meeting eligibility criteria indicating a committed relationship would have a right to apply for certain financial orders if they separate.

 Helen’s view…

“As a member of Resolution I was interested to read their new code of practice which came out last week. I am a committed member of Resolution and think that all solicitors should sign up to the code. This week Resolution are taking part in ‘Good Divorce Week.’ On Wednesday they will be holding a Lobby Day in Parliament, where over 150 resolution members will be travelling to Westminster and meeting with their MP. This year they will be campaigning for no fault divorce and improving rights for cohabiting couples – two key areas that were highlighted in their manifesto launched last year. As a divorce lawyer, I fully support this campaign and urge people to get on board and spread the word during this week.”

You can get involved on Twitter by using the hashtag #abetterway and tagging @ResFamilyLaw

Call and speak to a lawyer on 01244 312306