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Promoting ‘out of court’ divorce

The courts are no longer viewed as places for determining disputes, but as valuable real estate to be plundered, writes Marilyn Stowe

1 November 2016

‘Divorce’ has become a buzzword for any forcible separation. A quick Google search generates articles about the UK’s upcoming ‘divorce’ from the European Union or a politician’s ‘divorce’ from their political party. The term implies controversy and dispute.

But oddly, it is no longer fashionable to talk about actual divorce in the same way. For years now, the message has been clear and repeated: divorces should be amicable. Keep it out of court.

Family lawyers know all too well where this message comes from: the government. The drumbeat began in the 1990s when Treasury officials began plotting ways to cut legal aid, the calls for conflict-free divorce have increased since LASPO among the media, politicians, and government agencies.

This message is not just reserved for the general public o...

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