Tories have had a habit over the years of annoying me but this time they really are making me angry. I've just been reading their out-of-touch-with-reality ideas on how divorce actually works in this country - I guess they take the Madonnas of the world to be the norm.
So here's how it actually works for any Tories who happen to be reading.
When I went to my lawyer in 2006, I was told I could technically sue for divorce instantly on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour - ie my husband's excess working, spending and the likes. Of course proving this in court would be costly so I was advised not to go down this road. Unfortunately, despite my living with another man, only my husband was allowed to sue on the grounds of adultery. I was more than happy for him to do that but he didn't think that was a good idea financially. So we were left with the option of trying to get a divorce a year later, that either of us could contest or waiting fully two years as the rules state here in Scotland (I believe it is still five in England) for an incontestable one. After the year was up, I again tried to convince my lawyer that I wanted to get a divorce but she advised me (kindly) that although I could go ahead, if he contested any part of the settlement, custody etc we'd need to go to court which would likely take my divorce over the £10k mark because I was not eligible for legal aid. Of course, not being Madonna, I couldn't risk that so I was stuck married to someone I didn't love, and who I didn't even see, while living with and having a child with my current partner, who I wanted to marry but wasn't allowed to. Is that what the Tory think-tank wants? They may be suggesting a 3 month cool-off but the reality is that unless you can afford the 5 figure court divorce, the only people who can go ahead before the period where it can be contested has past are couples who get on well enough to agree on a divorce, and I imagine there are very few of those.
In the nearly three years it took me to get divorced I had bought a house with and had a child with another man. I was stressed beyond belief at a legal system that was telling me staying married to someone I now barely knew instead of being married to the man who loved me was better for me and my kids. Five years would have seen a nervous breakdown I imagine, so why are these idiots pouring money into ideas of irrelevant three month cool-off periods that only the mega-rich need to fight?