A national family law body is once again urging the government to reform 'outdated' divorce law as it prepares to intervene in a highly-anticipated case at the Supreme Court next month.
Resolution, whose 6,500 members have long campaigned for 'no-fault' divorce, will issue another call for change at its annual conference in Bristol today.
At present, couples are unable to divorce without blame unless they have been separated for two years. Resolution says divorce is often a time of conflict and heartache, and the current legislation makes matters worse. Last year research by the Nuffield Foundation showed that couples lie about adultery to speed up divorce proceedings.
Next month the Supreme Court will hear Owens v Owens, after the Court of Appeal said it could not interfere with a lower court's decision to refuse to grant Tini Owens a decree nisi, even though the judge had correctly found that the marriage had broken down.
Margaret Heathcote, Resolution's national chair, said: 'It is ridiculous that, in the 21st century, Mrs Owens has had to go to the highest court in the land in order to try to get her divorce. Resolution will be at the Supreme Court next month as interveners, showing our support for Mrs Owens and countless others like her who are either trapped in a loveless marriage and unable to get on with their lives; or forced to assign blame in order to do so. It's outdated, it's unfair and it's time for things to change.'
Last year the government said it was considering what further reforms to the family justice system may be needed but was not planning to change existing divorce law.
According to research conducted by Resolution, nine in 10 family practitioners think the law should be modernised.
Next week, a new BBC drama about a family of divorce lawyers begins, called The Split. When asked at a preview what changes in the law she would like to see, the show's creator and writer, Abi Morgan, immediately replied 'no-fault-divorce'.