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Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020

Date:29 JUN 2020
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The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill (session 2019-2021) received royal assent on 25 June 2020 as the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020.
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Jane McDonagh, partner at Simons Muirhead & Burton LLP, said: “For the first time in a generation, divorce legislation has been reformed. The passing of the ‘no-fault divorce’ Bill is welcome progress in reforming an area of family law that was out of step with wider society. Removing the element of blame from the initial part of the divorce process will make it a lot easier for a positive tone to be set for future discussions on more substantive issues such as child arrangements and splitting assets. Importantly, the Act closes a loophole that has been misused by abusers looking to coerce or control their spouse. It is also welcome that contested divorces are, in the main, no longer an option for couples. Now this Act has passed in to law, it is important to recognise that this reform is just a starting point and there is still much more to be done to streamline and modernise the laws surrounding relationship breakdown. In particular, we need to simplify the process of dividing assets on divorce and protect the rights of long term unmarried couples. We all hope that this Divorce Bill will pave the way for new thinking across the board in how the law deals with breakdown of relationship of all kinds.“