Peter Jones – one of the UK’s first qualified arbitrators and a former Deputy District Judge – is playing a key role in a nationwide Lobby Day campaign at the House of Commons on November 30.
Peter (pictured) is lobbying local MPs in a high-profile awareness drive spearheaded by Resolution, which champions non-confrontational solutions in family law, to campaign for no fault divorce and to improve rights for cohabitating couples.
The current ‘no fault’ divorce which means that unless couples have lived apart for two years, one partner has to take the blame for the split.
The campaign is also seeking a legal framework of rights and responsibilities when cohabiting couples split up. Ten per cent of the population – nearly six million people – live together without being married and Resolution says the framework would ensure fair outcomes when they separate or if one of them dies.
During Lobby Day Peter and fellow Resolution members will also highlight to MPs how the planned closure of 86 courts across the country will further restrict access to the legal system for the vulnerable who have already been affected by substantial Legal Aid cuts.
Peter, who is also a former chair of Resolution, said: “The distress that can follow family breakups if there is no agreement – or when one partner is being unreasonable – is considerable. Conflict is often heightened by the current law, which stipulates that one party is officially ‘at fault’.
“It is also vital that current legislation for cohabitees who do not share the same financial rights as married couples is changed – and that action is taken to prevent even more vulnerable people being severely impacted by a raft of impending court closures.”
Lobby Day is part of Good Divorce Week which promotes a constructive approach to divorce and runs from November 28 to December 2.