Proposed UK divorce law reform upsets Christian conservatives

Proposed UK divorce law reform upsets Christian conservatives April 9, 2019


CHRISTIAN Concern’s scary Chief Executive Andrea Minichiello Williams threw another of her tedious tantrums today after the government announced that divorce will be made easier.

In announcing “no fault” divorces, Justice secretary David Gauke said:

While we will always uphold the institution of marriage, it cannot be right that our outdated law creates or increases conflict between divorcing couples.

The change means spouses will be required simply to make a statement that the marriage has broken down. This, the government believes, will put an to end “blame game” situations. The need to prove adultery, unreasonable behaviour or desertion – or to live apart for five years – will be scrapped, the government said.

But Williams condemned the reform as:

Very bad policy.‘No fault’ divorce is really ‘no reason’ divorce. How can the Justice Secretary say in one breath that he wants to uphold the institution of marriage when he is tearing it down, allowing people to walk away from their solemn promises to hold together in life-long commitment?

Marriage matters for our children, and they need to know it matters. This legislation will make life less stable and more chaotic for them.

She also warned that a person may have access to their children terminated, their assets divided and be ordered out of their home, despite being faithful to their marriage vows.

Rushing into a divorce could throw away a marriage which would be happy.

In 2008 Williams said:

When you don’t stand up for marriage, you get the redefinition of family. The issue for the Church began when it did not uphold marriage in the 1960s and ’70s as God’s standard for society, as opposed to cohabitation. The law then followed, making cohabitation rights the same as marriage rights, and then for same-sex couples. Suddenly God’s building-block, which really holds a society together, was lost.

Jonathan Williams from Christian Action, Research and Education (CARE) added:

The Government’s proposals to make divorce easier are incredibly misguided and will undermine marriage. If you make it easier to get a divorce, it is inevitable that the divorce rate will go up. Today, the Government is putting forward a view of marriage that prioritises individual freedom, rather than encouraging sacrifice and commitment.

CARE contends that 80 percent of the public oppose the changes.

But Aidan Jones, Chief Executive of charity Relate, strongly disagrees, and welcomed the “much-needed” changes that he said would be good for children involved.

The outdated fault-based divorce system led parting couples to apportion blame, often resulting in increased animosity and making it harder for ex-partners to develop positive relationships as co-parents. While divorce isn’t a decision people tend to take lightly, we do support the extension of the minimum timeframe which will allow more time to reflect, give things another go if appropriate, and access support such as relationship counselling or mediation.

“Irretrievable breakdown” of a marriage as the sole grounds for divorce will be kept, as will the two-stage process of a decree nisi followed by a decree absolute.

The shake-up will introduce a six-month minimum period between a petition being lodged and the divorce becoming final.

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  • barriejohn

    Christians like nothing better than to see people suffer. Such compassion!

  • my parents separated a few days after i graduated high school, after about 25 years of marriage. they’re still not divorced, but they are in all but name.

    at the time, i was upset, but not because they were splitting up – i was upset that it took them so long, that they felt they had to tread water in a loveless household for my sake. by that time, my mother had developed awful gastrointestinal issues from the stress and my father was spending entire days away from the house without telling us where he’d been.

    i don’t know why religious people cling to the idea of being locked into marriage as if that’s ever a good thing, as if all marital problems can be solved by talking it out or going to couples’ therapy, as if everyone is champing at the bit to throw away months or years of time and effort and love for an easy divorce. isn’t giving people more latitude in their lives, in their minor children’s lives, a net benefit?

  • barriejohn

    I couldn’t agree more. I wonder whether any of that “dark money” from the USA finds its way into the coffers of Christian Concern?

  • WallofSleep

    The Government’s proposals to make divorce easier are incredibly misguided and will undermine marriage.

    Not your marriage, not your life, not your problem, and not any of your god damned business. Get a freakin’ life and quit telling others how to live theirs, a-hole.

  • yeah, i wouldn’t doubt it. fundies fucking love networking.

  • Michael Neville

    Williams, if you don’t like no-fault divorce then don’t get one. Now stop whining about what other people do which doesn’t affect you in any way.

  • WallofSleep

    If my parents remained married, I would either have been dead or incarcerated by my late teens. Some people should just never get/stay married.

  • Daz

    ‘No fault’ divorce is really ‘no reason’ divorce.

    Uh, no. “We want a divorce” is actually a reason. And why would a loving god want a couple to remain in a loveless marriage anyway?

  • Aloha

    She prefers to lay the blame at her hubby’s feet for everything that went wrong. It gives her more motivation to keep fighting about child support, visitation rights, and money for decades after the divorce. /s

  • Aloha

    Lady thinks people just randomly get divorces, abortions, and gay lovers.
    All out of the rebelliousness of our hearts — nothing else.

  • Exactly! “I don’t want to be married to him/her anymore” is the best of all possible reasons for divorce.

  • Robert McLean

    It is kind of peculiar that the religiously afflicted seem to ‘think’ they have a place at the table in this discussion. By all means have a say but don’t expect to be taken seriously or respected. Christians and those supporting the alternate deities have been shown to be so morally compromised, their stone age views need to be corralled and disinfected.

  • Aloha

    Christians have a place at the table — because they get more divorces than anyone.

  • phatkhat

    What’s with these fundy women and the eyes??? This Cathy Herrod woman from Arizona lately in the news.

  • anxionnat

    Reminds me of an old Jewish saying: “To a marriage, walk. to a divorce, run.”

  • smrnda

    It seems odd to think that ‘marriage’ can be undermined. it’s like suggesting that ‘business’ is undermined when individual companies go under. some things don’t work out. people should be free to leave and move on.

  • smrnda

    If you make it easier to get a divorce, it is inevitable that the divorce rate will go up. Today, the Government is putting forward a view of marriage that prioritises individual freedom, rather than encouraging sacrifice and commitment.

    Whenever ‘reasons’ are called for, people invent them. This was true back when fault was required, and people even faked infidelity to speed up the process because it was one of the more accepted reasons. It’ll just make the process smoother.

    I’m also not sure that the government should promote any view of marriage. Whether you want to value individual freedom or sacrifice and commitment is up to you. If you want a marriage, you fill out a form. If you want a divorce, another form. The government is just recording legal facts, vision of marriage is up to the people involved. And if the reason people aren’t divorcing is ‘the government isn’t letting them’ that’s not really ‘commitment’ – commitment is when you stay even if you knew you could, legally, go.

  • smrnda

    Most people who stay married out of some commitment like that don’t really have happy marriages. It’s usually obvious to kids when a marriage isn’t working, and a few people I knew said that they were happy when their parents got divorced since it just reduced the amount of conflict they had to deal with.

    I think many religious people expect marriage to be an unpleasant experience, and misery loves company.

  • Jim Jones

    Add her to the list of people who don’t know that shit happens.

    Apparently a lifetime of reading Enid Blyton doesn’t prepare you for reality.

  • Broga

    They just can’t lead their own lives and leave the rest of us to lead ours. The idea that any couple would inflict the misery, cost, break-up of a home and suffering on children casually is bizarre. I suppose this ridiculous women would opt for the Victorian system where the wife was a chattel who could be beaten, abused and treated as a serf.

  • Broga

    Great quote and excellent advice.

  • Broga

    So earnest as if she was on a mission of the greatest importance. Best to keep clear of fundies although that is difficult as they insist on inserting their opinions everywhere: against abortion even when the woman has been raped; against assisted dying even when a terminally ill patient is enduring great suffering and begging for death (I have personal experience of this with my mother); against condoms even to prevent sexual disease and aids, etc. etc.

  • Brummie

    It’s as if The Institution (marriage) is more important than the participants!
    My Catholic parents hated each other right through our childhood. They made life hell for each other and us kids, but stayed in the same house because the church (and British society at the time) disapproved of separation/divorce.
    How does that contribute to human happiness?

  • CoastalMaineBird

    God smiled. Does that count ?

  • Matt G

    Am I the only one picturing her husband doing a little dance of joy thinking about this new legislation?

  • Raymond Metcalfe

    Why cant people groups like this keep there noses out of any one else life. Being stuck in a marriage that neither party wants is a nightmare I was in that situation for years. Not only do they try to tell every one else how to live their lives but try to interfere with others choices by trying to get laws changed so the law reflects their religious view. It will beinteresting if this law changes or weather the government does a u turn yet again.

  • Raymond Metcalfe

    I was wondering that myself. There was the case last year with the child in Ormond street hostpital when the loathsome andrea and her gang got involved I wonder if any money came across the pond to help them interfere in that case

  • Vanity Unfair

    The law then followed, making cohabitation rights the same as marriage rights…
    No, it didn’t, and that is part of the problem. Getting rights for non-married couples can be very difficult.

  • Freethinker

    You’re not a true fundy unless you have that batshit crazy look.
    Because Jesus.

  • Eric Blair

    Nobody has yet demonstrated how someone else’s divorce or (gay) marriage affects the quality of their own marriage. Most troubled relationships I’ve seen are due to purely internal problems. As with so many other things – if you don’t approve of divorce, gon’t get one.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    Lady thinks
    { Citation needed ]

  • Broga

    Once the romantic love i.e. lust has faded, six months tops, you had better have something else to replace it. And I think that something else, I suggest, are shared interests, commitments, friends, beliefs (atheism in our case), attitude to finance, confidence and trust in each other. I think it may have been Jung who said, “romantic love is a disease like any other disease and ought to be treated as such” Reality breaks through eventually and in many marriages or partnerships what is revealed is not what the partners expected or are able to accept..

  • DogGone


  • Sheryl Gay

    Why can’t we just ignore these people? They are very good at flaying the rest of us with their christian rubbish and expecting us all to tow their line, but if we suggest something to them like gay marriage suddenly we are “shoving it down their throats”.

  • Tim Howley

    Is it just me, or does anyone else think she looks like a Klingon?