A public consultation on the government’s ‘dangerous’ new proposals to introduce radically liberal no-fault divorce laws was closed last month.
The government wants to change the law in England and Wales so that married couples no longer have to prove the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
Instead, the government proposes to replace the current ‘fault’ system with a notification scheme which will make divorce quicker and easier.
This would mean that one spouse would be able to unilaterally end their marriage whenever they wanted by notifying the court.
Then, after a short period of time, a spouse would receive a final divorce decree. This amounts to ‘no reason’ divorce.
Christian groups like The Christian Institute and CARE believe that changing the law in this way would weaken the standing of marriage in society.
Moving to a notification system for divorce is likely to increase divorce rates and the number of children living in broken families.
Christian groups are also concerned that these proposals could fundamentally change what marriage means, leading to unstable marriages where individual autonomy is prioritised in the law above children or the marriage.
But Christian Institute Deputy Director, Ciarán Kelly, warned, ‘Speeding up the divorce process robs those couples of any chance of reconciliation’.
And responding to news that Co-op Legal Service were trialling an online divorce process that people could complete at home, Mr Kelly said, ‘Allowing people to divorce from the comfort of their own homes completely undermines the seriousness of this sad process’.