It has been recently reported that the Divorce, Separation and Dissolution Bill is again being brought before parliament. The Bill, which aims to introduce the much needed “no fault” divorce, has been re-introduced to parliament following formation of the new government.
The Bill was originally introduced in June 2019, but stalled when the Prime Minister unlawfully suspended parliament last year.
Now that we are back on course with the Bill, it will provide a much welcomed boost for those couples who wish to seek a divorce but do not wish to apportion blame against either party. Once passed and made into law, the no fault divorce is likely to see an increase in the number of couples coming forward to divorce as currently couples not looking to apportion blame must wait 2 years before applying for a divorce.
The Bill, if passed, will also;
- Remove the possibility of contesting the decision to divorce, as a statement will be conclusive evidence that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
- Introduce a new minimum period of 20 weeks from the start of proceedings to confirmation to the court that a conditional order of divorce may be made, allowing greater opportunity for couples to agree practical arrangements for the future where reconciliation is not possible and divorce is inevitable.
This is a much overdue reform and it can only be hoped that the government press on with the same at the earliest opportunity. At the time of writing the same has had its first reading before the House of Lords on 7th January 2020 and the 2nd reading is anticipated to take place shortly.
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