Family law group calls for more humane divorce law
Resolution, an organisation of England and Wales family lawyers, has devised a blueprint for what it hopes will be a more equitable alternative to divorce and separation. This comes at a time when current laws are increasingly seen as belonging to another era and not wholly applicable to the dynamics of today’s modern families.
Essentially, what the group wishes to do is remove
the blame element in divorces that can be so devastating for the parties involved, including children. Ahead of the general election in May, Resolution has published proposals for how modern-day divorce should be handled and it wants the next government to change the law accordingly. The group also wants property rights for couples who are living together but not married, and for people to get a better understanding of what a divorce will mean to them years from now. Resolution has come up with four main proposals for the next government to consider:
Ways to keep couples out of divorce court
Resolution says there are many other options to just filing for divorce in court, or seeking mediation to try and find common ground. Alternatives that should be considered include arbitration, round-table meetings with lawyers and collaborative law. What this proposal is saying is that there shouldn’t be a blanket answer to divorce or separation, but that individual solutions should be available in each case.
A Parenting Charter
Parents may well want the best for their children as they’re going through a divorce, but because of the complex legal definitions currently in use, it’s not always clear what they should do. The establishment of a Parenting Charter would set out in easily understood terms what parents need to do for their children and what the children themselves should expect from their parents.
Divorce without blame
Current divorce law apportions blame to one party, whether they have committed adultery or done something else to cause the break-up, and Resolution says this casts a cloud of negativity over divorce that can be detrimental to the best interests of children. Instead, it wants “no-fault” divorce – which basically means that there’s just general agreement to go ahead with a divorce.
Understanding what lies ahead
It may be relatively easy to divorce now, but down the line, there may be all sorts of problems, from emotional difficulties among family members to trouble with finances. Resolution is calling for a reduction in financial and emotional costs, leading to less pressure on everyone.
Resolution’s manifesto also contains two other proposals: basic legal rights for cohabitees who are splitting up and protection for vulnerable people who are separating.
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