Asking couples to blame each other for the breakdown of their marriage in order to get a divorce borders on cruel, the new chair of family law group Resolution said today. 

Lobbying for ‘no-fault divorce’ is to be a key reform priority for the group.

Nigel Shepherd (pictured), partner at national firm Mills & Reeve, used his first speech in the role to issue a rallying cry for family lawyers to continue to call for no-fault divorce. 

Shepherd pointed to polling by Resolution that found a quarter of all divorcing couples falsify blame on their petition in order to complete the separation. He said Resolution will continue to press ministers on the case for change. 

He said: 'The blame game needs to end, and it needs to end now. We will continue to make the case to government, supported by charities, the judiciary and the many others who support no-fault divorce.'

He told the group's annual conference in Gateshead that the current legal aid system is 'a bloody disgrace' and called for the government to carry out its promised review into the impact of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act at the earliest opportunity.