The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill – often referred to as the ‘no fault divorce’ bill – has now passed through all stages in Parliament, with Royal Assent to follow. Once this is granted, it will take time to put in place the necessary changes to procedures and forms, but it is hoped that no-fault divorces could start to take place in autumn 2021.
The bill simplifies the divorce process, which currently requires one spouse to attribute blame to the other if they do not want to wait until they have been separated for two years before divorcing. This can often create unnecessary conflict or add pain to an already difficult situation for couples and their children.
Under the new law, couples would be able to divorce after a 6 month notice period, without having to attribute blame to either party, they can also jointly apply to divorce. It is hoped that this will save on the emotional and financial cost faced by many divorcing couples, and minimise conflict for children.
We welcome these changes, as while it is already best practice for family lawyers to try and keep the divorce process as amicable and non-confrontational as possible, the passing of this bill will make it much easier for that to happen.