The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill has finally reached the end of its parliamentary journey. However, although the ‘no fault divorce’ bill has been passed through the House of Commons, it will return to the House of Lords to consider an amendment before receiving Royal Assent. Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland has said that they are looking to work towards the bill coming into force in Autumn 2021.
The introduction of a no-fault divorce system will mean that couples can petition for divorce jointly without either person being held at fault. Lawyers will be better placed to support couples to resolve matters as constructively and amicably as possible, minimising the impact on any children they may have.
What will this mean for couples wishing to divorce?
It is a reality of life that some marriages will break down and when they do it falls upon both parties to try and part in an amicable manner, with the least amount of upset. The current law states that there has to be some element of blame for one party to petition for divorce against the other, unless they have been separated for at least two years.
Under the new bill a spouse will simply have to claim that their marriage has irrevocably broken down. This also means that spouses will not be able to contest the choice divorce. Apart from on grounds such as coercion and fraud. The bill will also introduce a six-month minimum period that must pass between the divorce proceedings starting to the divorce being finalised.
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