New Divorce Bill

After announcing in April that a new law would be introduced enabling married couples to divorce without the need to attribute blame, Justice Secretary David Gauke has on 13th June 2019 introduced the landmark Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill.

Following years of campaigning by family lawyers the new Bill will help to make divorce less acrimonious and minimise conflict caused by what has become known as “the blame game” in divorce. The hope is that divorcing couples will be able to work more constructively to resolve the wider issues arising as a consequence of the marital breakdown such as financial issues and children’s arrangements.

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill will reform current laws by:-

  • Replacing the current requirement to show either a fault based fact or a period of separation with a statement of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Couples will also be able to elect to make this a joint statement.
  • Removing the possibility of contesting the divorce as the statement of irretrievable breakdown will be conclusive evidence that the marriage has broken down.
  • Introducing a new minimum period of 20 weeks from the start of proceedings (when the divorce petition is issued by the Court) to the confirmation that a conditional order may be made. This will allow opportunity for reflection and, where couples are not able to reconcile, time to agree practical arrangements for the future.

The Bill also proposes similar provisions in respect of Judicial Separation and dissolution of civil partnerships.

Whilst the current requirements for divorce remain in place the family lawyers at MCP remain committed to helping our clients through separation in the most constructive and non-confrontational manner possible.

 If you require help and advice following the breakdown of your marriage please call any of our family departments  - in Wisbech 01945 464331, in  Thetford and King's Lynn on 01842 756110 and in Peterborough on 01733 895054.