Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill ‘discourages possibility of reconciliation’ – Bishop of Portsmouth

On 5th February 2020 the House of Lords debated the Government’s  Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill at its Second Reading. The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, expressed concern about the Bill, saying that divorce needed to be kinder to all involved, rather than easier. In his view “the Bill before the House discourages reflection and hence the possibility of reconciliation”.

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Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill ‘creates more difficulties than it resolves’ – Bishop of Carlisle

On 5th February 2020 the House of Lords debated the Government’s  Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill at its Second Reading. The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, spoke in the debate and his remarks are below. He highlighted several problems with the Bill, which he said would create more difficulties than it was intended to resolve.

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, I am greatly looking forward to the maiden speech of the noble Baroness, Lady Hunt of Bethnal Green, and I welcome her to this House, which I am sure will benefit greatly from her expertise, campaigning zeal and commitment to debates on justice and equality.

Let me begin by saying that I appreciate the motivation behind the Government’s Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill. As we have already heard, they want to make divorce less complicated, less acrimonious and less harmful. Who could possibly argue with that? I like the revised terminology that the Bill suggests, and I agree that, at first sight, this looks like a sensible response to shortcomings in a process that is currently unsatisfactory and often seems to lack transparency or fairness.

However, this deceptively simple piece of legislation actually creates more difficulties than it resolves. One has to do with the nature of marriage itself and our commitment to it as a society—I shall confine my comments to marriage rather than civil partnership.

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Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill: Bishop of Chester highlights need to clarify divorce law

ChesterOn the 11th May 2018 the Bishop of Chester spoke during the second reading of Baroness Deech’s Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill.  The Bishop spoke about the developments in the approach taken by the Church of England to divorce and supported the outline of the Bill. Bishop Peter highlighted concerns regarding areas of the Bill relating to children, premarital assets and the need for a more adequate safety net.  Baroness Vere of Norbiton responded to the debate for the Government and her comments can be found below. The Bill was read a second time and has moved to Committee Stage.

The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, I join others in congratulating the noble Baroness, Lady Deech, for her persistence and perseverance in bringing this Bill forward and for her very elegant opening speech.

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