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Divorce reform swiftly returns to Parliament

The Divorce, Separation and Dissolution Bill has been pushed back by parliament twice now due to the recent general election and other matters such as Brexit. However, on 6th January 2020 it was re-introduced to the House of Lords and is now firmly back on the agenda.

The bill includes divorce reforms that remove the need for blame. It will retain the irretrievable breakdown as the sole ground for divorce but it proposes replacing the requirement to provide evidence of a ‘fact’ with a requirement to provide a statement of why the marriage has irretrievably broken down. The bill also includes removing the ability to contest a divorce and introducing a joint application.

The current law states that your marriage has only irretrievably broken down if you can prove one of the 5 ‘facts’ with the facts being adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, 2 years separation or 5 years separation. If one of the 5 facts is proved, this is accepted as evidence of irretrievable breakdown for the purpose of divorce. This current process almost entices one party to make allegations about the other to avoid the need to wait for 2 years.

Not having to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong and effectively ‘ending the blame game’ has been a hot topic for quite some time and the introduction of a non fault divorce will be most  welcomed.

To speak to one of our fantastic Family Law team call 0117 904 5923

Posted on Jan 21st, 2020 by Lyons Davidson

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