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The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 – will it protect victims of domestic abuse, and simplify the process for litigants in person?

Date:4 NOV 2021
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Gemma Sweetman, Solicitor and Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of South Wales
Sara Diamond Moroy, Alumni (LL.M Legal Practice), School of Law, University of South Wales

In less than 6 months’ time, the long-awaited reforms to divorce law introduced by the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 (DDSA 2020) are due to be implemented. These reforms include bringing an end to what many have described as the ‘blame game’. This article will explore some of the inadequacies of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 that are problematic for particularly vulnerable members of society: victims of domestic abuse (2.3 million victims in the 12 months ending March 2020 – ONS) and litigants in person (significant increase following the cuts to Legal Aid by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012). It will also seek to evaluate whether the DDSA 2020 will address the current inadequacies: Will it break down the barriers that may prevent a victim from leaving their abuser and reduce the number of victims? Will it create a more user friendly divorce process and facilitate access to justice for litigants in person?


The full article will be published in the November issue of Family Law

 

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