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Resolution calls for election pledges on family justice

Four proposals raised with political parties

Nigel Shepherd, National Chair of Resolution, has called on the major political parties to commit to modernising family justice in their manifesto.
Resolution makes four proposals, which it claims "will make a huge, positive difference to the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people that separate each year".

In a letter to each of the major parties, Mr Shepherd calls on them to make a commitment in the next Parliament to:

Resolution has been leading recent calls in Parliament and the media for no fault divorce, including a major Lobby Day in Westminster last November.
In his letter, Mr Shepherd states that "current divorce law does not encourage couples to divorce amicably" and that "people often have to cite unreasonable behaviour or adultery on the divorce petition". Resolution claim this situation leads to unnecessary conflict, makes an amicable separation less likely, and reduces the chances of reaching agreement on children and financial issues.

Mr Shepherd proposes that current legislation is changed to allow for a divorce to be "finalised where one or both of the parties to a marriage give notice that their marriage has broken down irretrievably and one or both of them are still of that view after six months." He adds that "separating couples would be supported by information to help them explore whether the marriage can be saved and/or on the different process options available to them, as well as parenting information."

In the letter, Resolution cite public support for a change in the law to allow for no fault divorce – a recent YouGov poll that found 69% agreed that people should be allowed to divorce without blame.

The Law Society has itself launched its General election 2017: Our vision for law and justice. The Law Society's calls include the reinstatement of legal aid for early advice, particularly in family law and the ensuring that civil justice co-operation is maintained with the EU  in the interests of consumers, families and businesses.