With the prorogation of parliament comes news that the hard fought for ‘no-fault’ divorce bill is to be dropped. Generally, all bills in progress when Parliament is suspended cannot be carried over into the next session and as such must be abandoned or re-introduced from scratch when Parliament commences.
Campaigners have for several years championed reform of the outdated divorce laws (which at present require couples to have lived apart for at least two years or divorce based on unreasonable behaviour or adultery) in favour of allowing couples to make a joint application, simply requiring divorcing couples to make a statement that the marriage has broken down without apportioning blame.
Ex-Justice Secretary David Gauke, who drew up the law, said he was “disappointed” the bill had been halted, commenting “Divorce reform is long overdue. The bill had overwhelming support amongst the public and in Parliament. I hope Parliament can return to this ASAP.”
Jo Edwards from Resolution, which has been at the forefront of the campaign for ‘no-fault’ divorce commented “Given the wide support the Bill has so far enjoyed, together with the fact divorcing couples have waited years for this reform, we are optimistic that measures can be reintroduced quickly in a new Parliament, and Resolution will be making the case in the coming weeks and months that Ministers should do just that.”