Economist calls for the introduction of no-fault divorce in England and Wales

News Release

03 Mar 2017

This week’s Economist calls for the introduction of no-fault divorce in England and Wales. In response to the article, Resolution chair Nigel Shepherd said:

“It is hugely encouraging to see the national media taking a much bigger interest in no-fault divorce following our lobby of Parliament in November, that saw 150 family lawyers meet with MPs.

“We welcome the Economist’s contribution to this debate and note it follows recent calls for change from Sir Paul Coleridge, chairman of the Marriage Foundation and Lord Wilson of Culworth, a Supreme Court judge. They are the latest in a long line of senior figures, including the President of the Family Division, who have urged the Government to introduce no-fault divorce.

"The public also backs no-fault divorce, with a recent YouGov poll finding 69% believing “people should be able to seek a divorce without having to show their spouse is at fault."

“The current Owens v Owens case illustrates why reform is urgently needed. It is simply wrong that in 2017 anyone can be forced to remain in a marriage that they no longer wish to be in. Current divorce law, as demonstrated in this case, so often introduces or exaggerates conflict in family disputes.

“The Government needs to remove the need for blame from the divorce process at the earliest opportunity. Not only would it create a more civilised approach to family separation, it would also help it achieve its objective of helping more couples resolve issues out of court.

“We live in a modern society. It’s time for a modern divorce law.”