Debating The Cost of a Broken Heart – Are Divorce Laws Out Of Date?

Join Irwin Mitchell’s Family Law Department For Debate In Leeds


Expert family lawyers in Leeds are questioning whether the laws regarding cohabitation for people who are divorced are out of date.

Irwin Mitchell is hosting a unique debate to discuss whether elements of divorce law relating to cohabitation need changing to reflect today’s society. The event takes place at the law firm’s Leeds office at Wellington Place on Wednesday 4 July 2012, from 6pm to 8.30pm.

The Honourable Mr Justice Moylan will lead the event which will invite lawyers to discuss whether partners, typically the bread-winner of the family, should continue to pay maintenance to their ex-wife or ex-husband after they are divorced, even if their former partner decides to live permanently with someone else.

Nicholas Francis QC and Judith Fordham, of Exchange Chambers and 29 Bedford Row, will be speaking in favour of a motion to discharge maintenance orders alongside Nigel Dyer QC and Nicola Saxton, of 1 Hare Court and St Paul’s Chambers, who will be opposing it.

Peter Morris, a Partner in the Family Law at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office, will be attending the seminar. He said: “The law in this area has not changed since 1973 and we will be discussing whether the law needs to reflect today’s society in which divorce is more common.

“It is a particularly complex area of family law but also a particularly hot topic now that divorce is at its highest level ever and many unmarried couples are living together long-term.

“Those in favour of a motion to get rid of maintenance orders are likely to touch upon the rights of the typically male breadwinner of the family and whether it’s fair and just that he continues to pay maintenance to his ex-wife when she has moved on, and is living permanently with someone new.

“Lawyers against changing the law will no doubt discuss the difficult choice many women now face post-divorce, about whether they live with their new spouse or keep their maintenance? This is especially difficult for full-time mums who may have given up lucrative careers of their own.”

To attend the debate, contact Reta Madgin at Irwin Mitchell on 0161 8382380 or email