She is right of course in spite of the irony of the Times article quoting Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia that she wants schools to help pupils view marriage as “the most important decision they make”.
Baroness Shackleton is described as the top divorce solicitor. She has represented Prince Charles and Sir Paul McCartney in their respective divorces.
Important quotes from the article are: “Marriage is not just about the heart, it’s a practical arrangement …….. which has to survive to rear children”
The Times article is linked with the recent decision published from the Supreme Court ruling and that underpins the long and existing principle that a couple has to prove in court that their marriage has irretrievably broken down if they wish to obtain a divorce in this country.
The contentious issue has been the limited grounds that must be cited to prove irretrievable breakdown and. in particular; the grounds relied upon where unreasonable behaviour is cited. This particular aspect has been criticised over the decades by many tip top lawyers and judges who say the current divorce law is archaic and that leads to the call for the No fault divorce.
The basis for change would lie with the need to focus on the “untold grief” suffered by children where there is a broken marriage. This is nothing new and my surprise therefore that the call for change is coming from family lawyers and judges who are jointly campaigning along with the press for change to allow the advent of the No fault divorce.
We live in interesting times and change will happen. I believe there is little wrong with the existing legislation and my suspicions are roused as to the real reasons for mooted change.
The sadness for me as a family mediator is the lack of personal responsibility on the part of adults to commit and to limit their expectations of a marriage or a relationship.
Communication and mutual understanding is flaky.
The process of family mediation is not to keep people together but to enable them to discuss politely and respectfully their individual needs and have course the needs of any children of their relationship when it is breaking down.
Respect, truth and fairness are required by most people who I meet professionally. By the time they reach court, it is probably too late because the majority of people are steered by the advice they have had and seem to lose the ability to think for themselves and to find the courage to discuss their views and feelings with each other.
This is why mediation has become so popular.
The mediator facilitates in a non partisan way and tries to remove the competitive edge of normal litigation.
Our ancestors did not have to deal with the modern day dilemmas of society. They were too busy working for future freedom of choice and peace and prosperity for their families. I do ask where this has got us. This is time for reflection and for us all to consider how we may influence the future.
Marriage is a wonderful institution and I certainly support the words of Baroness Shackleton even though I suspect she is targeting the populous slightly too early in their stage of development. Good luck to her and I hope that this effectively reduces the number of divorces and failed relationships in this country.
Tricia Muzalewski, FMCA and Law Society Accredited Family Mediator
Wynn Mediation www.wynnmediation.com. Contact details: email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone: 01702 341241 August 2018