Campaign underway to block simpler divorce

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divorce reform, Cayman News Service(CNS): Over 830 people have already signed an online petition, created last week, objecting to three proposed government bills aimed at modernising Cayman Islands law surrounding marriage, divorce and family life. The campaign against the efforts that would, among a number of things, make divorce simpler comes largely from the Christian community. The petition calls on the government not to follow through with the plans as they say no-fault divorce and the elimination of damages claims for injured parties over adultery will likely increase the number of divorces and break more families apart.

But Cayman already has one of the highest divorce rates in the world, despite having quite challenging divorce laws that require blame to be attributed to one of the parties, increasing the acrimony between families and forcing everyone into court.

Objectors claim that the proposed bills will “undermine and devalue the institution of marriage and are contrary to the Christian values that Caymanians hold dear” and that “the adoption of no-fault divorce will hurt children and families”.

CNS contacted the Cayman Ministers Association and a spokesperson told us that it would be submitting comments to the government opposing some of the law reform proposals and that it would be similar to submissions made to government in the past.

In the 2005 submissions objecting to modernisation the CMA said children raised in the care of their married biological parents experience better life outcomes than children in any other family arrangement.

“This does not mean that children in other arrangements always fare poorly. But it does mean that societies concerned with the well-being of children have a vested interest in the promotion, protection, and prosperity of marriage,” the CMA said in 2005, adding that making divorce easier makes it more likely to happen. 

However, there is now a considerable amount of research that indicates that children suffer far more in acrimonious marriages than they do from an amicable divorce. Forcing children and spouses to remain in physical and emotionally abusive situations because the road to legal separation is so arduous and costly is extremely harmful. Most psychologists now agree that it is the acrimony between parents, not their separation, that has the most detrimental impact on children.

The Law Reform Commission published the proposed draft bills and asked for comment on a the changes to a package of legislation earlier this month. The consultation period for comment is open until June.

See the petition objecting to the changes here

See the law reform bills in the CNS Library


Category: Local News

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