Family Lawyers have been saying for years that the existing divorce laws, which first hit the statute book in 1969 (The Divorce Reform Act) are outdated, and do not reflect society today.

The Justice Secretary has said that he is now looking at amending the law to allow married couples to get a divorce on the mutual agreement that the marriage has broken down. You do not need to have had an affair, or accuse each other of “unreasonable behaviour”. Exactly how the law will pan out, we will wait to see.

However it does mean that if parties separate and wish to divorce, but there is no one else involved, they either have to wait two years, or come up with a formula of “behaviour” of which one is accusing the other, which is hardly a good start to an amicable separation and settlement.

It has been said that this will allow people to drop in and out of marriage at will. I do not believe that people enter into marriage likely; they do have a sense of commitment and do not want it to fail. This proposed change in the law will surely not change people’s attitudes.

A very different family unit for 2018.


As society changes, and people’s perception of the family unit changes, in the UK the majority of family units do not comprise married couples, but couples who have entered into same/different sex relationships, to form the basis of their family unit.

There is a need to revise the law to take account of this, but until things change, it is vital that people within any family relationship understand their rights should anything go wrong.

I provide a full advice service for both married and unmarried couples, and if you have any queries about your situation, do not hesitate to contact me.   01963 32514   07881 336727