Our articles are written by experts in their field and include barristers, solicitors, judges, mediators, academics and professionals from a range of related disciplines. Family Law provides a platform for debate for all the important topics, from divorce and care proceedings to transparency and access to justice. If you would like to contribute please email editor@familylaw.co.uk.
A day in the life Of...
Read on

Nuffield Foundation research urges government to reform divorce system

Date:13 FEB 2019
Third slide

Research published earlier this month by the Nuffield Foundation reinforces the case for reform of the overly complex divorce system in England and Wales. Taking Notice, written by Professor Liz Trinder and Mark Sefton, finds that the current system can fuel conflict and disadvantages people who represent themselves and those alleging abuse as grounds for divorce.

Based on analysis of a national sample of both undefended and defended divorce cases, Taking Notice recommends that:

  • The proposed notification period of six months should begin before decree nisi to avoid people being subject to unpredictable variations in processing times.
  • The ability to defend a divorce should be removed.
  • The significant minority (14%) of cases in which one party does not respond to the divorce petition needs to be addressed.

Professor Liz Trinder said:

“This new research reinforces the case for divorce law reform along the lines proposed by the Ministry of Justice. The current system is complex, confusing and creates unnecessary conflict. The proposal to allow divorce only after a ‘cooling off’ period will help families focus on the future, not on an unhelpful ‘blame game’. Our new research also finds that the Ministry of Justice is right to propose removing the outdated right to defend a divorce.”

Last week the justice secretary, David Gauke, confirmed that the government is committed to introducing legislation to reform divorce law in the next Parliamentary session.

Family Law
Family Law
"the principal (monthly) periodical dealing with...
Child Case Management Practice
Child Case Management Practice
The definitive practical manual on the PLO,...