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Mounting calls to reform divorce law

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Calls to reform divorce laws in England and Wales continue to pick up speed after a former High Court judge voiced his concerns in The Times in recent days.

Former Judge-turned-campaigner Sir Paul Coleridge has said that there is a ‘pressing need’ to modernise family law.

The comments come shortly after the former High Court Judge of 14 years penned a letter calling for an end to fault-based divorce.

According to Sir Coleridge, existing legislation in England and Wales encourages people to move “with indecent haste” to obtain a divorce, through a system which encourages couples to lie and to make often dishonest allegations against one another.

This is because couples who wish to divorce without having to wait until two years after an initial separation have to prove that their marriage has irretrievably broken down through unreasonable behaviour – an issue which has led to mounting calls for the introduction of so-called ‘no-fault’ divorce in modern times.

But Sir Coleridge is also calling for further changes to divorce law in England and Wales.

Most notably, he has said that more rights need to be extended to cohabiting couples – who currently have very limited legal rights in the event of a relationship breakdown, despite being the fastest-growing family type in the UK.

In addition, Sir Coleridge and the Marriage Foundation, the charity he represents, are also calling for an overhaul of divorce settlements, statutory backing for pre-nuptial agreements and the opening up of civil partnerships to heterosexual couples – all of which the charity believes should be implemented urgently.

MFG Solicitors’ family team can advise on divorce, separation, the dissolution of civil partnerships and all other aspects of family law. For more information about how we could help you, please contact us.