Resolution calls for 'Changing Family Law for Changing Families'

Resolution’s current campaign, Changing Family Law for Changing Families, focuses on the need to bring family law up to date to better reflect the needs of families in the 21st century. Resolution’s campaign calls for no fault divorce, changes to the law to protect cohabiting couples and enforceable pre-nuptial agreements.

Resolution is an organisation which represents over 6000 family lawyers and other professionals in England and Wales who believe in a non-confrontational, constructive approach to family law. Here at Dovetail we are members of Resolution.

Resolution is hoping that their Changing Family Law for Changing Families campaign will lead to changes in the current divorce system. At present, the only ground for divorce is that a marriage has broken down irretrievably. It’s possible for this to be proved in a range of ways; however it is not possible for a couple to divorce without blame unless they’ve been separated for a minimum of two years. For many couples, a wait of two years to sort out their finances is simply not possible which rules out this option. As a result, at present couples have to record either details of the partner’s unreasonable behaviour or adultery to enable them to proceed with their divorce, making what is already a distressing process much worse.

As we’ve commented in previous blog posts, the number of people who are choosing to live together outside marriage is continuing to grow. There has been an increase of over 50 per cent in the number of cohabiting couples since 1996, whilst marriage rages continue to fall. Despite this increase in cohabiting couples, couples who live together are currently without any legal protection if their relationship ends. According to Resolution, it is clear that the way we live is changing and our laws must change to match.

Resolution’s campaign also calls for a need for enforceable pre-nuptial agreements. According to Resolution, when a marriage ends, one of the biggest causes of stress for many couples is not knowing from the start what the financial impact of their divorce will be. Increasing numbers of people are getting married when they are older and with many people marrying for the second time; according to Resolution there has become a need for people to enter into a marriage, knowing that their assets are protected if the relationship fails.

At present the law doesn’t provide clarity or a certain outcome for couples, before, during or after their marriage. Increasing numbers of couples are signing pre-nups as a way to reduce this uncertainty. Resolution is hoping that their campaign will lead to changes to the current ‘unclear and inconsistent approach to pre-nuptial agreements’ in English family law.

To read details of Resolution’s campaign in full, please visit their website.

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