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Accept no-fault divorce is the future, or embrace this….

For several months, prominent figures from the worlds of law, religion, government and more have been publicly debating divorce law within the UK. Some have argued for reform, others that revising the law and allowing no-fault divorce would be harmful to society.

I, personally, have argued that it is rational to reform divorce law and the need to, at times, apportion blame should be eradicated. My arguments rely on simple logic: I have worked within the divorce-sphere for a decade and am yet to speak to someone that flippantly made the decision to divorce. With those opposed to changes to divorce law claiming that reformations would lead to an increasing divorce rate, my own experiences have shown me that this would not be the case and I can see no credible argument for not changing the law as a result.

Morally and subjectively, I have also supported these reforms because I believe that organisations have no more of a right to decide whether or not a couple can divorce than they do over whether they may marry. In short, I genuinely believe that people should be trusted to end their marriages if they believe it to be the best course of action. Today, I stumbled across an article in the Guardian describing the lengths one of China’s provinces has gone do in order to stem escalating divorce rates within their region and it galvanised my views.

In what I can only describe as the divorce process you’d presume to be akin to that utilised in one of Orwell’s more obscure pieces of science-fiction, couples that file for divorce in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu are offered the opportunity to take a test designed to determine if their marriage can still be salvaged. Granted, the test isn’t mandatory and the couple will not be prevented from getting a divorce whatever the result may be, but this is still clearly a bridge too far.

The test may be voluntary but administrator’s claims that they can identify when a couple shouldn’t be looking to end their marriages as a result of how they respond to questions is nothing short of fallacy. Human relationships are incredibly complex and, as stated previously, the people best placed to determine whether or not the marriage is salvageable or beyond repair is the couple themselves.

This event does serve as a timely reminder of why it’s so vital that no-fault divorce is introduced as soon as possible, though. Yes, those arguing it will damage familial stability are – just like those administering tests in Jiangsu – well intentioned, but preventing couples from separating by utilising metaphorical roadblocks when there’s no love left in the marriage is far more likely to have a profound and negative effect on the parties and their children than a divorce ever could.

In short, we need to either embrace that no-fault divorce is the future or accept that, should we choose to end our marriage, that we’ll be required to jump through any number of hoops in order to appease people who simply cannot understand our situations and why we wish to end our marriages.

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