By Sarah Houston
It has been announced that no-fault divorce is to finally become law after years of campaigning. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill cleared its final stages of parliamentary analysis in the House of Commons yesterday (17 June 2020).
The victory follows the Bill’s hasty passage through the House of Commons, where the second reading was heard only last week (8 June 2020). It has received widespread support by all sides notwithstanding numerous amendments being proposed, which were either subsequently withdrawn or overwhelmingly defeated.
The Bill will now allow couples to divorce without having to assign blame. Couples currently seeking a divorce in England and Wales are required to spend a minimum of two years separated; or one must effectively apportion blame on the other for the marriage breakdown, applying the facts of adultery or behaviour.
Resolution, the leading family law body in England and Wales, representing over 6,500 family justice professionals, have been hugely instrumental in campaigning for reform for over 30 years. They welcome the news and confirm that the Bill will now help thousands of divorcing and separating couples to reduce conflict. The new legislation will make the process more humane and constructive, in so doing reducing the negative impact of a hostile divorce upon children and families.
Resolution have worked closely with the Ministry of Justice to progress this Bill. The proposals have garnered support from the public, politicians from all parties, family law professionals and the judiciary itself. The Family Law team at TWM Solicitors also welcomes this long-awaited reform to the law.
Once the Bill receives royal assent, there will be a number of changes to rules, procedures and forms that will be required. This will take some time, although it is now anticipated that no-fault divorces will start to take place in 2021.
If you require any discrete advice in relation to separation or divorce, or know someone who would benefit from some advice, then please contact us at TWM for a confidential meeting and we will guide you through the process.
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