In June 2019, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill was introduced to the House of Commons.
The Bill which introduced several reforms aimed to take away the blame element of divorce and set to modernise our divorce system, which dates back to 1973. The proposals included:
- to replace the ‘five facts’ of divorce with a new requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown;
- removing the possibility of contesting the divorce;
- introduce an option for a joint application;
- make sure language is in plain English.
Most family lawyers agree that removing the unnecessary blame will remove some of the animosity which can easily build when going through a “fault based” divorce.
Resolution is a national family law organisation, of which our family lawyers are members, and were delighted when the Bill passed its first and second reading in the House of Commons, back in July 2019. The next stage in the process was due to be the report stage. However, sadly due to the current political situation, the Bill has failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means that the proposed new Fault Free Divorce Law will make no further progress.
This is a blow for Resolution and Family Law professionals, as sadly all progress made is now lost, and MPs would have to start from scratch. However, it is widely hoped amongst Family Law professionals that the Bill can be re-introduced after the general election.
In the meantime, our Family Law Team will continue to assist our Clients in making the divorce process as simple as possible and with as little animosity as can possibly be achieved.
If you have any questions on divorce please contact the Family & Relationships team.