Christian ex-High Court judge backs faster no-fault divorces

A Christian and former Family High Court judge has backed plans under consideration by the Government to speed up divorces in England and Wales where neither party admits blame.

Sir Paul Coleridge said any fears such a change to no-fault divorces would lead to more family breakdowns were "wholly misplaced", claiming there is "no discernible connection" between the two.

He wrote in The Times on Saturday: "Surely, it is deeply insulting to suggest that couples would bin their marriages more easily if the law was changed so that those unfortunate enough to face relationship breakdown could end it with more dignity."


Unless someone can prove adultery, unreasonable behaviour or desertion, they must live apart from their spouse for five years to obtain a divorce if their husband or wife withholds agreement.

If both sides agree to a no-fault divorce, they must live separately for more than two years before a divorce can be granted.

Days after ministers confirmed divorce laws were being examined, it emerged at the weekend that there will be a consultation on proposals for what the Justice Secretary described as a "less antagonistic" system.


David Gauke told The Times: "The more I look at it, the more I am concerned that the current system does create a degree of unnecessary antagonism in an already difficult and sensitive set of circumstances."

Sir Paul Coleridge, who founded "national champion for marriage" the Marriage Foundation charity, warned that some people currently "invent allegations" to speed up their divorce.

He continued: "We now have a system that drives people to lie to the court if they are not prepared to wait for two years or longer. That is wrong.

Anthony Devlin/PA Wire


"The Government must now bring forward a way for couples to divorce through a thoughtful process that takes a sensible length of time.

"An intelligent process to end unsustainable marriage is good for the reinvigoration of the most important social arrangement yet devised for mankind."

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