A WARNING TO ALL MEN
June 17th 1996 was the date the Family Law Bill received its third reading in the House of Commons before being passed back to the House of Lords to complete a similar process.
The Family Law Bill started life as the Divorce Reform Bill in the House of Lords in 1995. Running with it were two other pieces of legislation, the more contentious of which was the Family Homes and Domestic Violence Bill. In November 1995, journalist William Oddie, exposed the attempt within this Bill to equate cohabitation with legal marriage, by virtue of definition. There was an immediate response against the Bill by a number of concerned MPs. This legislation package was halted whilst the Lord Chancellor's department attempted to sort out the mess. For our movement, which was involved in campaign against the proposed legislation, it looked as though we had been successful. However this was short lived as the three Bills were rolled into one and re-introduced in early 1996 as the Family Law Bill.
The newly titled Family Law Bill, as far as the divorce element was concerned, started life as Report No192, from the Law Commission, in 1988. The intent of that report was to propose divorce reform based on the concept of 'NO FAULT'. More specifically it proposed that divorce should take place on the basis of UNILATERAL UNSUBSTANTIATED DEMAND. What this meant was that if one party to a marriage considered the marriage 'was over' then the other party would not be able to prevent a divorce, or more importantly the effects of a divorce, from taking place. One cannot think of a reason more lacking in moral poverty than this. The effect of the report would remove ALL meaning from the vows and commitments, made at the time of marriage, and convert marriage into a meaningless sham that lacked the essential elements of permanence or commitment. Let us make clear that this was NOT what the citizens of this country were seeking but what was planned TO BE IMPOSED on them by the Law Commission.
The Law Commission, at the time of Report No 192, was chaired by one Brenda Hoggett. Various statements attributed to her seem to have had the effect of showing the Law Commission as being ideologically committed to the removal of legal marriage. Journalist John Torode wrote in The Daily Mail on November 1st 1995, "twice married feminist behind radical new laws". On the same day William Oddie again wrote under the main heading "Legal commissars subverting family values", stated, "this woman believes marriage may be dead why then, in God's name, has she been ALLOWED to shape laws that affect the MAJORITY of Britons who DO believe in matrimony?. A worthy statement from William Oddie which challenges the right of the Law Commission, a body accountable to no one, to produce legislative change no one wants or is seeking. Oddie considers that the Law Commission, one of the last of the Wilson era quangos, should be consigned to the graveyard since it has become not just DUBIOUS but DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS.
Further proof of Hoggett's attitude to legal marriage, and how her viewpoint was implanted in other Commissioner's minds, is enshrined in statements she made, which are perhaps somewhat different from those views subsequently attributed to the Lord Chancellor, on this subject.
"Family law no longer makes any attempt to buttress the stability of marriage or any other union".
"Logically we have already reached a point at which, rather than discussing which remedies should be extended to the unmarried, we should now be considering whether the legal institution of marriage continues to serve any useful purpose".
"The piecemeal erosion of the distinction between marriage and non-marital co- habitation may be expected to continue".
One has to wonder with opinions like these, why the 'twice married feminist behind radical new laws' has bothered to get married a second time. One, however, is aware that the legal institution of divorce, carried out behind closed doors, is ready to attend those who have unilaterally decided that the legal institution of marriage has ceased to serve any useful purpose. THE USEFUL PURPOSE IT WILL HAVE SERVED, HOWEVER, IS TO PROVIDE THE INITIATING SPOUSE WITH THE NECESSARY QUALIFICATION TO BE ABLE TO RELIEVE THE UNPROTECTED RESPONDENT SPOUSE OF THEIR HOME, THEIR MONEY, AND THEIR CHILDREN.
For anyone visiting this site please be aware that the divorce process in this country is not about determining, as Parliament intended, who has broken up a marriage but about allowing a form of divorce on demand where financial compensation is the important issue at stake. The facts that surround this are a 79% female instigated divorce rate with over half of all divorces taking place by rendering the respondent husband defenceless. The divorce rate has risen 400% in 23 years because of this. WORSE IS TO COME.
No investigation as to how the divorce rate has moved from 40,000 per year to over 160,000 per year in 25 years was carried out before the recent reform was commenced. It should have been. The reform was carried forward with statements about saving 'saveable marriages', these being mixed with statements about saving legal aid by not allowing it for litigants in divorce. It is debatable whether any more marriages will be saved than are now, however legal aid WILL be saved. One therefore has to wonder whether saving legal aid coupled with the ethos of former Commissioner Hoggett was the driving force behind this reform.
With the experience of the last 25 years and our knowledge of the Family Law Act and its potential effect on unprotected victims of UNILATERAL UNSUBSTANTIATED DIVORCE ON DEMAND, we must issue a strong warning to ALL men about the wisdom of becoming involved in what passes for legal marriage in this country. At the present moment between one in every two and one in every three men will find themselves involved in divorce. With the trend of experience 79% of them will be the respondents unable to prevent the divorce or more specifically the effects of the divorce. The stakes are now raised because when the Family Law Act is fully enabled no ground will have to be shown as to why a marriage has, allegedly, irretrievably broken down. Whilst it is some time before the new Act is fully enabled doubtless the culture will begin to pervade the legal and judicial system now.
The new system will work by the initiating spouse, the divorce applicant, lodging a statement about the termination of the marriage, with NO REASON NECESSARY. Statements about monetary demands and arrangements for children will also be lodged at what will be called a proper office. We are told interviews will be held to address the matter of saving the marriage, but attendance at these meetings will not be compulsory. At some point in time, should there have been no change of intent on the part of the applicant, the respondent will be required to agree the demands made. Should there be a dispute then mediation will be offered to assist in the so called agreement process. It will be required for the respondent to agree the demands and should, because of non agreement, the matter be referred to a court then it is possible the court may take the view the respondent was being hostile and non co-operative and order the demands to be met. This will mean that the respondent will have to hand over his property and money and agree to become legally excluded from his children. Should he be involved in a business then compensation can be demanded from this financial source. Let us not forget the recent passage in Parliament of legislation regarding matters to do with pension splitting. Please consider the financial honeypot available to women just by initiating divorce action. It is no wonder that 79% of them are the instigators at present this will, without doubt, rise when the Family Law Act is fully implemented. 'I don't want you but I want your money' the mantra recited before seeking solicitor assistance now will be chanted during the completion of the UNILATERAL DIVORCE APPLICATION in the future.
Our message to men is to take careful stock of what you are either involved in now or contemplating becoming involved in. Marriage is a dangerous game now, with a form of guaranteed divorce and compensation for the petitioner. As we have said worse is to come when no ground has to be shown, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. The system will continue to scythe you down, as it does now, without ANY concern for your commitment to marriage for life.
PLEASE REMEMBER THE PUBLIC HAVE NOT SOUGHT DIVORCE ON DEMAND, IN FACT A SURVEY CARRIED BY MORI INVOLVING 1,000 PEOPLE, COVERTLY RELEASED BY THE LORD CHANCELLOR'S DEPARTMENT, SHOWED 60% AGAINST DIVORCE ON DEMAND.
THE CG IS PREPARING THE GROUND FOR THE ARRIVAL OF THIS UNWANTED LEGISLATION. IF YOU WISH TO SUPPORT US AGAINST THE DIVORCE SYSTEM WE HAVE NOW AND WHAT IS TO COME THEN PLEASE CLICK ON LITERATURE PACK REQUEST.
WE DRAW YOUR ATTENTION TO OUR RECENT PUBLICATION ON DIVORCE. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO OBTAIN THIS BOOK PLEASE CLICK ON PUBLICATIONS, THEN ON BOOKS.