Stuart Ruff, of the south London and Kent law firm Thackray Williams, said: ‘It is truly a hallelujah moment and will save couples untold pain of having to blame somebody for divorce.’
However, the Positive Parenting Alliance said the move was ‘far from the great leap forward needed to safeguard the mental health of children involved’. Even Baroness Shackleton, the lawyer who acted for Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Sir Paul McCartney in their divorces, warned: ‘The original pain of attributing blame may be removed, but what this act doesn’t do is sort out the money. And most of the torture is sorting out the finances.’
Christian Concern’s Andrea Williams commented: ‘No-fault divorce is really “no-reason” divorce. These laws now mean that one partner can impose divorce on the other and any children, forcing them to move house and break up the family. No one seems to care about the effects this legislation will have on youngsters and vulnerable women by making one-sided unilateral divorce legal.’
It would be interesting to know if there are any other contracts that can be legally terminated by only one party; as it is, a marriage certificate may soon be the only contract not worth the paper it is written on.
Inevitably, divorces will rise – a matter of celebration largely for lawyers – but it is likely that marriages will also fall, since the easier they make divorce, the harder they make marriage. No longer will there be an agreed standard of conduct for both parties to reach, only the vague, indefinable and probably incommunicable standards required by one of the other to ‘satisfy all their needs’.
Marriages were already at a record low in England and Wales in 2020, and it is highly likely that we will see many marriages as long as that of recently deceased D-Day veteran Horace ‘Harry’ Billinge, married for 67 years.
Opponents of marriage – feminists and assorted Leftists – would no doubt argue that marriages in the past were ‘forced’, since without a readily accessible exit the parties are trapped within them, a bit like passengers who are not shown the emergency exits before a plane takes off, left with no means of escape when the aircraft crashes. In real life, having a formal, publicly-acknowledged agreement is exactly the foundation that helps couples stay together when times get tough, whereas ‘no-fault divorce’ completely undermines that structure. Like a house built upon sand, it begins to sink as soon as the wind blows or the sea rises.
‘Reformers’ introduced divorce as a solution to conflict in marriage, then they introduced the ‘amicable’ divorce as a solution to the conflict of divorce. The only answer to progressive thinkers who demand that marriage be perfect is to abolish marriage altogether.
Interestingly, a recent study confirmed what seems only common sense, that divorce is more harmful to children’s educational development than a parent’s death.
This is hardly surprising, since children know instinctively that the parent who dies cannot help it – apart from cases where they take their own lives, which explains the terrible damage caused to families by suicide. In contrast, the parent who leaves a marriage of their own volition is responsible for the lifelong damage done to the family. Now they will no longer have to ‘suffer’ the ‘stigma’ of breaking up the home.
Children will be the blameless victims of no-fault divorce.