More support this week for the proposed divorce reform from Sir Justice Munby, former President of the Family Division of the High Court.
I've written several times about this reform and how important it is for the family, but one thing I haven't mentioned as much is the removal of the Respondent's right to oppose the divorce. At the moment a Respondent can defend the petition which doesn't mean that they can defend what has been said about them, but in defending the suit they are effectively saying that they do not want the marriage to end and that the Petitioner should not be allowed to proceed with the divorce.
If successful (as in the case of Owens v Owens) the Court dismisses the petition and the parties remain married. If couples are to work together to parent their children after their separation it must be right that the marriage should be brought to an end as smoothly and as amicably as possible. To keep someone in a legal relationship on a technicality is outdates and quite cruel.
We have to look to the future, and the No-Fault Divorce bill should make great strides in putting the children of families first, so that separated parents can get on with things and get back to some sort of new normal life.
The plans for no-fault divorces should be seen as a welcome step forward in reducing the impact on children of the parental blame game that is all too common in a divorce.