#896 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 25 May 2014.
Brazilian-born legal scholar Augusto Zimmerman, writing in News Weekly, says no-fault divorce is damaging Australian children and families and should be amended.
Before 1975, a spouse had to prove that serious misconduct had been committed by the other spouse in order to obtain a divorce. The Family Law Act 1975 allowed either spouse to freely terminate their marriage.
Dr Barry Maley, writing for Sydney’s Centre for Independent Studies, says no-fault divorce laws have introduced incentives for behaviour that undermines confidence in marriage and sustains high divorce rates. He says they promote marital uncertainty, opportunism and forms of spouse exploitation.
There are cases where the outcomes of no-fault divorce arguably reduce interpersonal conflict and deliver a better quality of life. But ultimately, according to Dr Zimmerman, “no-fault divorce rewards irresponsible behaviour and makes a complete mockery of marital vows.”
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.