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Family Law Blog

Comment on divorce & family law 

Tories grasp the divorce challenge


The BBC  web news site shows that the Tories seem to be trying to (well, if they get elected that is!) do something at last about the rate of divorce in the UK. It reports that they will require couples to have a 3 month "cooling off period" before they get a divorce, so that they can reflect and also consider reconciliation. They will also, apparently, "strongly encourage" couples to attend a marriage class before marrying.

Do I, as a divorce solicitor, approve? You bet I do!

I could argue about the detail but at least they are trying to change things. I have previously argued for couples to have to attend counselling before being allowed to marry. It is mainly to ensure couples understand what they are getting into. That is all about managing expectations.

What else could they do?

Make prenuptial agreements legally binding without any doubt. (At the moment they very probably are, but lawyers don't like the word "probably")

Set out what the divorce settlement will be, if they don't make a prenuptial agreement. 

Get rid of the present grounds for divorce and replace it with no fault divorce.

Give grandparents legal rights with regard to children and stop treating Gran and Grandad like second class citizens.

Let's hope the proposed system of classes is properly funded for a change. Maybe couples will have to pay? It will surely cost less than the cost of divorce.

Andrew Woolley
Family lawyer


Loading comments...

Hear hear!!

Attending a marriage class before they get married is a step in the right direction.

What is really needed (for life, not just marriage) is people exploring and improving their relationship with themselves, before entering into a relationship with another.

In work relationships this has been referred to as developing emotional intelligence. It is what should be taught at schools…

Most of us are (not so) blissfully unaware of these essential life-tools. Hence the high rates of divorce…...

By Andrew Nicholson on Tuesday July 21, 2009

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