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Under The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill, a spouse will no longer have to prove fault in order to obtain a divorce from the other spouse. They can simply claim that their marriage has irrevocably broken down.
The bill will also mean that spouses will not be able to contest the divorce unless coercion or fraud can be proven. The bill will introduce a six-month minimum period that must pass between the divorce proceedings starting to the divorce being finalised, giving spouses sufficient time to reflect on their decision to end their marriage before it is finalised.
On 8 June 2020 the bill was read for the second time in the House of Commons and was debated by MP's. MP's voted strongly in favour of the bill 231 to 16 and it will now progress and hopefully soon become law. The next stage is the Committee stage and this is due to take place on 17 June 2020.
Family lawyers up and down the country have been pushing for change for many decades and it is finally almost upon us. Members of the family law group Resolution have been the driving force behind the campaign and were delighted to hear that the bill was now backed by MP's. The members believe that no fault divorce will make divorce kinder to all involved and ensure more families an amicable divorce resulting in longer lasting and better post-separation relationships.
This article was written by Jennifer Herbert, Senior Associate in the Family Law team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of June 2020.