No-Fault divorce would be a disaster for society

May 17, 2018

Supreme Court

A high profile divorce case has thrown the idea of no-fault divorce back into the spotlight, with two Supreme Court judges calling for it to be introduced. However, Coalition for Marriage Chairman Colin Hart says no-fault divorce will trivialise marriage. 

Society has an interest in trying to keep marriages together and I think no-fault divorce is pushing that in the wrong direction.

Children do best when they live with both their married parents, and divorce puts children at the centre of the dispute between the divorcing spouses.

The current system already makes divorce too easy. Lawyers are able to coach their clients on how to circumvent the system, simply by claiming fault where there is none to speed up the process.

While these judges would like to make it easier for couples to divorce, I think a suitable waiting period is vital.

Many people who file for divorce change their minds and go on to have long, happy marriages. Making divorce quicker and easier robs them of the opportunity to reconsider and reconcile.

And what about those who don’t want to get divorced? They are being forced against their will to make all sorts of profound, life-changing arrangements, and they should be given time to make those arrangements.

Finally, there is also the sense of justice that the current law provides. Why shouldn’t a wife who has been faithful to a philandering husband be able to get a divorce on the grounds of adultery? That is the kind of justice that no-fault divorce would strip away.

Thomas Pascoe is away.