I am pleased to note that the Divorce, Separation and Dissolution bill is now reaching the final stage before it becomes law, despite the added complication of the Covid-19 outbreak bringing the country into lockdown. The bill aims to introduce the much needed “no fault” divorce and consign the fault based divorce into the dustbin of history.

The bill was originally introduced in June 2019, but stalled when the prime minister unlawfully suspended parliament last year. The bill had to be then re-introduced to parliament.The third reading of the bill took place on Wednesday, 17 June 2020.

Once the Queen has provided her assent and the bill becomes law, the introduction of 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 new law will also:-

  • Remove the possibility of contesting a divorce, as a unilateral statement from one of the parties to the marriage 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.

The above is truly a long overdue landmark change to the Divorce process and may bring an end to the “blame game” currently present within the system.

For more information on the Divorce process, please contact one of our specialists at any of our 8 offices.