Lancaster and Morecambe family lawyer campaigns for change in divorce law

Barbara Richardson.
Barbara Richardson.

A family lawyer is campaigning to change divorce law to reduce unnecessary conflict in an already difficult situation.

Conflict can have some serious long term effects on children. Studies have shown that it is not the separation or divorce itself that has an impact, but rather the conflicts stemming from it that often has a detrimental impact on children’s wellbeing.

In a new poll, 79 per cent of the population agreed conflict from divorce or separation can negatively affect children’s mental health, a figure rising to 87 per cent among those who experienced their parent’s divorce as children. 77 per cent said conflict could affect children’s academic performance and a further two-thirds felt social interactions and the ability to form healthy romantic relationships were

also jeopardised.

Resolution, www.resolution.org.uk, a national organisation committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes is campaigning for a fairer family justice system and commissioned the new YouGov poll.

Resolution say that 200,000 people divorce each year in England and Wales and an overwhelming 79 per cent of the public support measures that would remove blame from the divorce process with 71 per cent believing change is urgently needed to reduce the negative impact on children.

Barbara Richardson explained that while most parents she works with do their best to put

their children’s interests first, the current fault based divorce system can make this

extremely challenging.

Barbara Richardson from Baines Bagguley Penhale Solicitors in Morecambe said: “Each day I work with separating parents to help them resolve issues constructively, focusing on their future and their children’s future.

“But even with the most amicable breakup, the current law which prevents divorce until 2 years has passed unless

“fault” is alleged can cause unnecessary conflict and emotional distress.

“Many couples are surprised that even where they both accept that their marriage has ended and want to remain on reasonable terms for their children’s sake they cannot obtain a divorce until two years has passed without alleging “fault” although under the current law the alleged fault does not have to be the reason for the breakdown of the marriage and rarely affects the resolution of financial issues between them.”

Resolution has been campaigning for decades to remove blame from the divorce process and organised a Parliamentary briefing on Wednesday November 28.

Barbara has written to local MPs and has received messages of support from Cat Smith and Tim Farron.