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The long-awaited no-fault divorce

Date:13 JUL 2020
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The introduction of a ‘no fault’ divorce system will mean that couples will be able to petition for divorce jointly without either person being held at fault.

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill has finally reached the end of its parliamentary journey. The Law Society has said ‘no-fault’ divorce would bring divorce law into the 21st century and it is quite right.

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What does no-fault divorce mean for divorcing couples?

There currently has to be some element of blame for one party to petition for divorce against the other, unless they have been separated for at least two years. This often increases legal fees and animosity at such an early stage making later discussions regarding children and financial matters more difficult.

The introduction of a no-fault divorce system will mean that couples will be able to petition for divorce jointly without either person being held at fault. This should make it much easier for lawyers to be better able to support couples to resolve matters as constructively and amicably as possible, minimising the impact on any children involved.

Although the bill has been passed through the House of Commons, it will return to the House of Lords to consider an amendment before receiving Royal Assent. However, Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland has said that they are looking to work towards the bill coming into force in autumn 2021. 

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