Is it right to have to stay married?

Mr and Mrs Owens have been married for 37 years but sadly Mrs Owens feels that their marriage has irretrievably broken down and petitioned for divorce in 2015.
However, as Mr Owens had not committed adultery, and the parties had not been separated for two years, the only available route was to allege unreasonable behaviour.
This is a fairly standard approach, so far. Continue reading

Civil partnerships: time for the Government to decide which way to jump

The UK government has resisted making a decision on the future of civil partnerships but the Court of Appeal has now told the government that time is running out.  Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan have campaigned since 2014 for a change in the law.  On 21 February 2017 the Court of Appeal refused to allow their application for a judicial review of the government’s decision not extend the civil partnership regime to opposite-sex couples.  To do so, the Court said, would be to micro-manage government policy and it was legitimate for the government to take time to make a proper assessment.  However, the Court of Appeal made it clear that it was their unanimous view that the bar constituted a potential violation of their human rights under Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) and Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention. Continue reading

The inequality of civil partnerships

The first opposite-sex civil partnership was celebrated in the Isle of Man recently between Adeline Cosson and Kieran Hodgson. They said they wanted to ‘keep it simple’ rather than have a traditional wedding and that, although they do want to marry one day, it is not what they want now. Whilst the Isle of Man is a Crown Dependency, it is not part of the UK and has different laws. It is the only place in the British Isles which allows and recognises opposite-sex civil partnerships. Continue reading

Catholic Church to make marriage annulment quicker and easier

In a move aimed at modernising the Catholic Church the Vatican announced on Tuesday 8 September 2015, that it would be altering the rules on marriage annulment. The changes are the first to be introduced to the process to obtain an annulment in almost three centuries. They are intended to streamline the current process which is regarded by many as overly complex and lengthy due to the need for the filing of evidence, attendance at a tribunal hearing, and the requirement that the tribunal judgment be confirmed before it is final. Continue reading

The Cohabitation Boom (And Bust?)

The Cohabitation Boom (And Bust?)Cohabitation has reared its controversial head again this week with the first reading of the Cohabitation Rights Bill, Lord Marks’ private members bill.  Lord Marks is nothing if not persistent – this bill follows hot on the heels of a private members bill on cohabitation he introduced towards the end of last year. Continue reading

Talking About My Generation

Talking About My GenerationAs a baby boomer, I read the Relate report entitled ‘Who will love me when I’m 64’ with great interest.

I was heartened to be reminded that my Generation redefined society in many positive ways ‘from rock music to rising women’s employment’ but was less positive when reading about our impact on relationships. Statistics show that we married young but are much more likely to divorce than our parents. Continue reading