For more than 30 years Resolution has campaigned for the introduction of no-fault divorce that would allow couples to separate without having to apportion blame to one another.
Thanks to the campaigning efforts of Resolution members, the biggest shake up of divorce laws in fifty years looks set to take place as the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill progresses through Parliament.
We are asking for your help once more to ensure Members of Parliament support the Bill when it is next debated in the House of Commons. Will you write to your MP asking them to support this legislation that will help thousands of separating couples each year to reach amicable agreements?
We’ve made the process as simple as possible; please follow the steps outlined below:
1. Find your MP Enter your postcode on the UK Parliament’s official website and you’ll be given the contact details of your local MP.
2. Personalise your correspondence Copy and paste our pro forma letter from below. If possible, personalise your correspondence adding your own experience of current divorce laws and why you support the Bill. Remember to amend the sections in bold.
3. Follow up Wait to hear back from your MP. If there’s no response, write again offering to meet in person to discuss the issue. If you receive either a positive or negative response from your MP, let us know.
Ask your MP to support no-fault divorce
Pro forma correspondence
Dear MPs NAME,
I hope you and your family are keeping well during this difficult period. I am writing to you about the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill which has been presented to the House of Commons after successfully completing its passage through the Lords. Whilst these are obviously uncertain and challenging times for us all, as a member of Resolution, I was heartened to see the Bill being widely supported in the Lords, and hope you will be able to support it when the time comes.
This Bill seeks to overhaul the UK’s outdated divorce laws by allowing couples to separate without having to apportion blame on either party. As a family law professional myself, I can testify that this long overdue change to the law will help the nearly 100,000 couples who divorce each year in England and Wales to resolve issues amicably.
Existing laws mean couples have to be separated for at least two years in order to be granted a divorce. The only alternative to speed up the process is for blame to be apportioned on either one of the parties. Most commonly, this is done on the grounds of adultery or behaviour. This unsurprisingly adds conflict, tension and pain to an already fraught process.
When someone is seeking a divorce, all too often the first discussion they will have with me focuses on who is at fault and the details of the behaviour alleged. This sets a negative tone for the more important discussions to follow around children and money. The leading academic study, Finding Fault, found that 43% of those identified by their spouse as being at fault disagreed with the reasons cited in the divorce petition. It’s this fundamental flaw in our laws that this Bill seeks to address.
I am a member of Resolution, a group of around 7,000 family law professionals, who believe in the constructive resolution of family disputes and have been the forefront of the 30-year campaign to get no-fault divorce on the statue books. As [your constituent/someone who works in your constituency] I am asking for your support to ensure the Bill becomes law and we can finally end the blame game once and for all. This will have an enormously positive impact on the work I do to guide separating families through the divorce process in the hope of reaching amicable agreements.
There is unanimous support for no-fault divorce in the family law sector and by experts including the Law Commission and the Marriage Foundation. The legislation is also supported by the front benches of the three main national political parties as well as by The Times newspaper; and when it came before the previous Parliament, it progressed to report stage unopposed and without amendment.
This Bill does not make divorce easier; it makes it kinder on families and on the children of separating families. I therefore urge you to speak in favour and support the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill when it comes before the House of Commons.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to highlight a number of resources that may be helpful to you in dealing with enquiries from constituents. In these unprecedented times, with limited ability to seek advice face-to-face, it is more challenging than ever to know where to go for help if you’re facing divorce, separation, issues related to children or other family law matters. I hope you will find some of these links helpful:
• Resolution has teamed up with Advicenow to provide a panel of family law specialists who can provide free or affordable advice
at the most important points of a family case.
• Resolution has also worked with OnlyMums and OnlyDads to create the Family Law Panel
, an online resource to help parents find legal information and advice for free or at reduced fees. During the present Covid-19 pandemic, many members of the Panel will hold free conversations with constituents if they are concerned about any possible domestic abuse situation in their household.
I hope these resources may be of some assistance to you and your team. If there is anything else I can help with, please do not hesitate to get in touch – I am very happy to speak on the phone, [or arrange a remote meeting via video] if this would be helpful.
Thank you again in advance for your support for the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill. I am happy to discuss any aspect of the need for this legislation in order to help inform the debate when it happens.