In June 2019 the Secretary of State introduced a ground-breaking new Bill into the House of Commons. The “Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill”. A full year later in June 2020 the No Fault Divorce Bill gained Royal Assent. Initially it was anticipated that this would come into effect in Autumn 2021 but the Government have pushed this back due to “technical issues” with the online divorce system. A disappointment to many, but now the government have committed to 6th April 2022 to bring the Act into force.
This means that this country is one step closer to a significant change for divorcing couples moving forward. The new law will allow one party or a couple jointly to apply for a divorce making a statement of “irretrievable breakdown”. Under the current system, which came into force over 47 years ago in 1973, one spouse usually has to “blame” the other by giving details of unreasonable behaviour or adultery or otherwise they must wait for between 2-5 years separation before a divorce can be granted. The No Fault Divorce Bill was submitted as a method to end the “blame game” that currently exists for separating couples.
It is anticipated that there will be a new minimum timeframe of 6 months from the initial divorce application to the grant of a divorce. This is intended to offer the divorcing couple sufficient time to then make arrangements for their future and about financial issues, children matters etc.
This is a real and significant change in the law for divorcing couples in the UK. The majority of family lawyers – DPM Legal included – welcome a modern and non confrontational approach of a no fault divorce which will undoubtedly help to reduce conflict between couples which only has a damaging effect on them, their children and families.
Options are still available for you in the meantime and if you would like to talk to us about divorce or separation and consider your options we offer an initial 30-45 min consultation free of charge either face to face or by video/telephone call.
Please contact us on 01483 521597 or visit www.dpmlegal.co.uk.