Resolution Chair responds to comments by MP about divorce law reform

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Juliet Harvey was quoted in City AM this week, commenting on the launch of a new campaigning organistion by Conservative MP Danny Kruger, who in an accompanying blog post suggested that the latest divorce reforms undermined the institution of marriage. Juliet’s comments can be read in full below.

Juliet Harvey, National chair of Resolution, said: “The role of the state in marriage is regularly a subject for debate, and we respect the views of those who believe the government should strengthen the institution of marriage. We would, however, take issue with the contention that the reforms to our outdated divorce laws undermine marriage.
“Indeed, for many separating couples, these reforms will remove the need for apportioning blame, thus minimising conflict and, crucially, reducing any negative impact of separation on any children. The Divorce Act will make the process kinder, rather than easier.
“It is also important to recognise that there are many different types of families in the UK, with cohabiting couples continuing to be the fastest growing group. More people are living together before – or instead of – getting married. Whether this is an active choice or not probably differs from couple to couple, but what is concerning is that they enjoy little or no legal protection should they separate.
“Resolution wants to see this changed, not to diminish the status of marriage, but to provide some legal rights to the millions of people currently cohabiting, many of whom incorrectly believe that they enjoy a mythical ‘common-law marriage’ status.”