Warning changing divorce laws puts family support system at risk

New divorce legislation has been condemned by the president of the Supreme Court who says it poses a threat to the support system of the family and “assumes an equality” between spouses which is often absent.

Lady Hale questioned the “one-size-fits-all” approach of the bill and said that in many, if not most cases, there was inequality between spouses.

In her address to the International Centre for Family Law, Policy and Practice, Lady Hale said, “More threatening in my view is Baroness Deech’s bill, which has made its way through the House of Lords and is now before the Commons.

“I can see the attractions of all of this when set against the agony, the uncertainty and the expense of seeking our tailor-made solutions. But I question how one-size-fits-all can possible meet the justice of the case or fulfil the role of the family in shouldering the burdens which it has created rather than placing them upon the state.”

In the speech, published by the Supreme Court, she added: “I fear that it assumes an equality between the spouses which is simply not there in many, perhaps most, cases.”

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