Judge Backs No Fault Divorce
Baroness Hale of Richmond President of the Supreme Court and therefore the most senior Judge in the Country has backed calls for divorce laws to be overhauled to remove fault from the grounds for a divorce.
When Baroness Hale was at the Law Commission in the 1990's she was involved in proposals put forward then to remove fault or blame from the process of seeking a divorce. In a recent press conference after being sworn in as President of the Supreme Court she said that unfortunately removal of blame had not happened. She was determined that the change should be implemented by Parliament and is backed by Sir James Munby the most senior family Judge in the country.
Resolution (the National Association of Family Lawyers) is at the forefront of focussing attention on the need to change divorce law. This is partly to avoid money and effort being wasted on the actual process of a divorce when one (or both) of a couple believe that their marriage has finally broken down. At the moment for an immediate divorce this can only be based on either adultery or unreasonable behaviour but the reality is that it takes "two to tango". The argument is that changing the divorce law would reduce the stress and expense of the actual divorce process so that couples could concentrate on dealing with the repercussions of this especially arrangements for children and a financial settlement.
This year Resolution's Awareness Week is concentrating on the rights (or lack of rights) of unmarried couples. To draw attention to this the Good Divorce Group and the local Resolution Group are holding a winter drinks reception on Tuesday 21st November at The Gallery in the Inns, 25 Bedford Street, Norwich (5.30pm – 7.30pm). Both Resolution and the Good Divorce Group are committed to finding non-confrontational approaches to resolving family problems including collaborative law, mediation and arbitration rather than the more adversarial approach of Court Proceedings. If you would like to attend this or learn more about the Groups please contact Brenda Gostling on email@example.com
Is Marriage bad for your health?
The Daily Mail recently ran an article entitled "A Rocky Marriage Raises Men's Risk of Heart Attack (but Wives are Fine)". According to the Daily Mail "our survey says" that problems in a marriage are linked to rises and falls in men's blood pressure, cholesterol and weight and that men's health improved as their marital relations did.
Set against this the results for women suggested that there is no link between marital happiness and cardiovascular health. The suggestion was made that this is because men are reliant on wives but women are not so reliant and have larger social networks and other ways of coping. The research went further and advocated that men in turbulent relationships should get divorced for the sake of their health!
Whether we can read too much into the results of this study remains to be seen. However divorce for men or women is one of the high stress areas. When that is linked to moving house which can often be at the same time it is not surprising that many men and women find their health deteriorates. This does link into such things as no fault divorce (advocated by Resolution and Baroness Hale) but also the approach of collaborative law and other non-adversarial steps to try to avoid the extremes of confrontation that can otherwise make a bad situation even worse. There is "life after divorce" but the process of getting there can affect an individual's physical as well as emotional health.
Commentary by Neale Grearson, Head of Family Department.
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