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Stratford MP gets behind divorce law reform

Tuesday July 16, 2019 at 10:53 am

Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi is joining Stratford law firm Woolley & Co, Solicitors in getting behind a campaign to reform antiquated divorce law in England and Wales.

The MP for Stratford has issued a rallying cry for a no fault divorce to be introduced after the family law specialists contacted him to ask for his support for the Resolution-led campaign.

And Mr Zahawi has stated that he will back the reform when it is debated in the House of Commons.

“When a relationship ends, it cannot be right for the law to introduce or exacerbate conflict between divorcing couples. Currently, couples have an incentive to blame each other for the end of marriage based on ‘unreasonable behaviour’, adultery or desertion,” said Mr Zahawi.

“The Government has indeed announced proposals which would mean that the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage will remain the sole ground for divorce. At the same time the new proposals would remove the need to show evidence of the other spouse’s conduct, or a period of living apart. A new notification process would be introduced to allow one, or possibly both parties, to notify the court of the intention to divorce. Finally, the proposals would remove the opportunity for the other spouse to contest the divorce, which serves no practical purpose.

“I am happy to confirm that I will be supporting the Bill.”

Woolley & Co has been urging people to write to their own local MPs to back the reform, which will save time, money and heartache for thousands of families across England and Wales each year.

Other MPs who have voiced their support after being contacted by Woolley & Co include Alistair Burt, member for North East Bedfordshire, and Brandon Lewis, member for Great Yarmouth.

The firm, founded in Stratford in 1996 and now with its headquarters in Wellesbourne, is also participating in a pilot scheme with the Ministry of Justice to help speed up the divorce process, further helping families in crisis.

Managing partner Andrew Woolley said: “The support of our local MP is particularly timely as the Church of England this week slammed what it sees as plans for “divorce on demand”, opposing the long-overdue, proposed reforms.

“We are very grateful to Mr Zahawi and hope others will follow his lead. At Woolley & Co, we are committed to amicable resolution of divorce and this move to a no fault divorce option will significantly help that and do away with the current system that fans the flames of conflict.”

Woolley & Co was founded in Stratford in 1996 and now has more than 20 partner-level solicitors working at locations across England and Wales. Each year the firm handles around 1,500 cases for clients around the UK and overseas.

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