Christians in Scotland are worried that the country’s new Divorce Bill, enforced mid 2020 has nullified the essence of the marriage vow and the expectation of life-long commitment in marriage.
The Government’s Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill (better known as the ‘no-fault’ or ‘quickie’ divorce Bill) now allows either party in a marriage only need to ‘give notice’ of divorce, declaring the marriage to have broken down, but without any need for proof, nor allowing their spouse to contest those claims.
When the notice is serve, the marriage could be over in just six months.
Critics of this new divorce bill argues further that the one walking out of the marriage may not even be required to tell their partner that they were being divorced until the six-month process was all but complete.
It was reported that parliament voted to tear up our divorce laws as Members of Parliament stripped away numerous safeguards, meaning people can now get out of their marriages more easily than a mobile phone contract.
The new law is being criticised as a big blow to all those who hold marriage in high esteem for its virtuous contribution to society.
Critics say marriage dissolution is being reduced to amicable break up where marriage reduced to little more than a rolling contract or a phone contract.
Hitherto in Scotland, it was not possible to end a marriage without proving it had “irretrievably” broken down.
Then, it was imperative to to prove that one spouse, or both, had done something wrong such as adultery, desertion or unreasonable behaviour.
Those who have been been separated for two years and both parties agreed may also divorce under the old law or five years if they didn’t agree.
However, some members of parliament (MPs) argued when the bill was being debated that when people are ready to divorce, counselling is futile because “the deed is done”.
The government claims it wants couple to split amicably but critics ask: “if the couple are so amicable, why are they divorcing at all?
The campaigners against the bill said the marriage can’t be completely irretrievable if both partners are such good friends.
It was advanced that the fault reasons (to prove a reason fault for cause) for divorce were written into law to enable people in difficult situations, who had been betrayed or beaten by their spouse, to safely exit the marriage.
Campaigners further postulated that the unreasonable behaviour ground has been watered down over the years. They say now people exit marriage for trivial reasons aplenty. They argued the original purpose for unreasonable behaviour was to deal with cases of domestic abuse.
“The separation reasons weakened the law by allowing couples to simply walk away after a set period of time without giving a reason, and in 2018, over 38,500 divorces used this system”.
About half of divorcees regret doing so, acknowledging they were overly emotional, according to statistics.
To promote healthy family and stronger marriage relations, the premise for divorce were originally meant to be strict. Everybody, the government and the governed, believed that marriage was good for society and couples should be encouraged to stay together and divorce permitted, when all reconciliatory options have failed.
That means it’s harder to get out of a phone contract than a marriage. If you sign up for an 18-month deal with Vodafone, you had better believe they are going to hold you to that. So why then, if you pledge to marry someone and spend the rest of your life with them, should you be permitted to walk away with half a year’s notice?
Dr Tony Rucinski of Coalition for Marriage once said that people want a relationship without any kind of commitment where you can walk away at any time.
Campaigners said the government has taken a knife to the promise of commitment at the heart of marriage and has torn up the marriage vow.
Marriage is still the gold standard for relationships and commitment is what makes marriage different to any relationship.