Petition to: To the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice – the Rt Hon David Gauke MP
For centuries marriage, based on the nation’s Christian heritage, has been the bedrock of society. Defined as the exclusive and monogamous union of one man and one woman for life, for their mutual support and encouragement, and for the bringing up of any children they might have, it was not to be undertaken lightly, and could be ended only by death, or as result of adultery. As Jesus said in Matthew 19:9 “… anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
The current proposals to remove any element of fault from divorce trivialises both the commitment to, and solemnity of, marriage. It destroys any idea of covenant, and risks making it from the outset a temporary contract that can be terminated at whim by either party, without agreement from the other side.
Moreover, the so-called removal of ‘blame’ cannot eliminate or lessen conflict. Divorce does not happen as result of apathy, and telling someone who’s been deeply wounded by a partner’s betrayal or desertion that in effect their feelings don’t matter, will only intensify feelings of bitterness and resentment.
The further argument that children will benefit from ‘quickie’ divorce without possibility of challenge, because of a lessening of parental conflict, is fallacious. Research proves that, where their parents are involved, there are negative developmental impacts for children from any kind of conflict, even where ‘silent’ (https://tavistockrelationships.ac.uk/policy-research/policy-briefings/969-impact-couple-conflict-children). It is, therefore, divorce itself that is the problem. The lack of stability arising from inherently ‘temporary’ relationships can only further adversely impact children.
For all these reasons we call on Government to reject entirely the introduction of no-fault divorce proceedings. We further call for measures to encourage couples to marry, and to strengthen the family.