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Marriage and Family

MPs will debate bill that will make divorce easier on Monday

4 June 2020

The UK Government’s controversial divorce bill will receive its second reading in the House of Commons on Monday 8 June.

The bill will introduce a notification system for divorce in England and Wales, to replace the previous ‘five facts’ system. A partner seeking a divorce will no longer need to prove any fault.

The changes amount to ‘no reason’ divorce, where a spouse can unilaterally end a marriage without having to give any real reason.

If one spouse wants to end the marriage, they will be able to do so in six months and the other spouse, will have no rights to contest this.

This Bill represents the biggest shake up to divorce law in England and Wales for 50 years.

Govt ignor­ing pub­lic opinion

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80% of respondents to the public consultation were opposed to the Govt's proposals

When the Government ran a public consultation on the proposals last year, a staggering 80 per cent of those who responded did not agree with the proposals to drop the five facts system and replace with a notification system. Only 17 per cent were in favour.

Even more – 83 per cent – were opposed to the proposal to remove the ability to contest a divorce.

What's Second Reading? In the life of a bill at Westminster, second reading in the House of Commons is when MPs will debate the general principles of the bill. Once it’s been voted on, it will move to Committee Stage which is where amendments are considered.

CARE’ view

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CARE believes marriage is the gold standard of commitment

We believe marriage is the gold standard for commitment. Our concerns in relation to the UK Government’s new divorce bill is that it will fundamentally undermine marriage. In turn, this will have a negative impact on children. Marriage is a serious, till death do us part commitment. Laws communicate social messages and the Government’s divorce bill sends a message that marriage is not to be taken that seriously. We believe this to be a mistake.

Find out more

Our Family Policy Officer, Jonathan Williams has written about why the new divorce bill will undermine marriage.

He’s also explored the negative impact the new bill could have on children and young people.


Marriage and Family

Strong families are foundational to a healthy society. Marriages too are vital, representing the gold standard of commitment. CARE is committed to upholding both.

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