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Posted 28 November 2017
by Tracy Lambert

Tozers in Agreement with The Times Family Matters Campaign

With reference to The Times’ article on 23rd November 2017, entitled ‘Judges have too much power in divorce cases’.

The family team at Tozers are fully in support of the recently launched campaign for the reform of family laws.

Sadly the law no longer fits well with the current complexities of modern family life. More and more couples are finding that the law is a complex labyrinth they have to negotiate in order to achieve their separation.

Most couples want clarity and simplicity, they want to achieve an amicable outcome without all the vitriol and spiralling costs that the current system almost seems to encourage.

The main points include bringing in no fault divorce, this is something which has been talked about for a long time. The current legislation is not fit for purpose with couples having to make out petitions for unreasonable behaviour if they do not have evidence of adultery in order to have a swift divorce. Citing allegations of behaviour in itself only serves to increase the animosity between spouses and in many cases our experience shows that the real reason that the couple are separating is because they are no longer the people that entered into the marriage all those years ago, the passage of time changes our lives and the law needs to accept that marriage is no longer “till death do us part”. People are making informed choices about exiting relationships, they do not leave on a whim, for many it is one of the hardest decisions they will ever make, who are we to try and make it more difficult for them.

Another of the points raised in the campaign is to achieve statutory backing for pre-nuptial agreements, this is something that we would endorse as a sensible measure for all cases where couples are bringing wealth with them to a relationship, it seems wholly sensible to address any imbalance and look at how funds might be distributed at the outset of the relationship rather than on separation when they may be less than amicable. We have found that Judges are now more willing to endorse such agreements but it would be of assistance to have this as part of our statutory framework.

Let’s hope that with the backing of the judiciary this campaign will take off.

If you need any assistance regarding a family law matter, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced team of family law solicitors.

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About the author

Tracy Lambert

Partner and Solicitor

Partner based in Exeter's family team