The government’s consultation process on how to reform the divorce system ends on 10 December. It is imperative that the best interests of children are kept at the heart of any decision. A new YouGov poll commissioned by Resolution shows 79% of the population believe conflict from divorce or separation can negatively affect children’s mental health, with this number rising to 87% among those who experienced their own parents’ or step-parents’ divorce during childhood. At an emotionally traumatic time such as divorce or separation, parents want and need support in order to put the best interests of their children first. Legal practitioners and charities help parents find solutions, but are hampered by the current fault-based divorce system. Apportioning blame can cause unnecessary acrimony – it is this conflict which can often have a significant negative impact on children.
Seventy-one per cent of the population side with professionals and politicians, agreeing that no fault divorce is urgently needed to protect the long-term interests of children. We now know the government supports it, so we urge it to bring forward legislation as soon as possible. Every day that goes by without change risks hundreds of children caught up in unnecessary conflict. For their sake, ministers need to take urgent action to end the blame game.