Law Practitioners can look forward to the “Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill” being tabled to be introduced in Parliament. It is hoped that 2020 will see a long-awaited reform in the way divorce proceedings are dealt with.

This new Bill, which seeks to update the current 50 year old divorce law, will see the introduction of the no-fault divorce, which aims to reduce hostility and conflict and enable parties to focus on the future rather than raking over allegations of the past.

What is a No-Fault Divorce All About?

The new legislation would seek to include the following elements:

  1. Whilst the sole ground for a divorce would continue to be the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage the no fault divorce option would replace the need for an allegation of fact by way of conduct or separation within the application. As a result it would also remove the possibility of contesting the divorce.
  2. The introduction of a minimum period of 20 weeks between the start of the proceedings and the Decree Nisi/Conditional Order. This is aimed to provide the parties with a period within which they can reflect and withdraw the proceedings before they are concluded, should they subsequently reconcile.
  3. The introduction of an option for parties to make a joint application where they have mutually agreed to divorce.

The Effect of These Changes

Our view of the proposed legislation is that such changes will allow divorce proceedings to proceed in a non-confrontational and amicable manner, which can only be a positive step within Family Law proceedings.

This move is also supported by Resolution, of which the Family Law Team at Cunningtons are all members.

Contact Cunningtons Family Law Department

In the meantime, if you would like to speak to a member of our experienced Family Law team, please feel free to contact us for an initial fee-free chat.

[June 2020 update: the No-Fault Divorce gets closer to becoming law as it passes its vote in Parliament]

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