Divorce Law Reforms Announced

Rayma Collins

Partner & Head of Family Law

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April 9, 2019

Categories Family Law

As reported in the wider press, the MOJ has today announced ground-breaking changes to our current 50yr old divorce laws.

Proposals for changes to the law are intended to reduce hostility for the family involved. They will include:

  • retaining the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage as the sole ground for divorce
  • replacing the requirement to provide evidence of a ‘fact’ around behaviour or separation with a requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown
  • retaining the two-stage legal process currently referred to as decree nisi and decree absolute
  • creating the option of a joint application for divorce, alongside retaining the option for one party to initiate the process
  • removing the ability to contest a divorce
  • introducing a minimum timeframe of 6 months, from petition stage to final divorce (20 weeks from petition stage to decree nisi; 6 weeks from decree nisi to decree absolute).

Whilst these changes are encouraging, unfortunately the reforms are not expected to be introduced until Parliamentary time allows which, with the current burdens of Brexit, is unlikely to be for many months. Further updates to follow.

When going through divorce, it is also imperative to consider financial implications of separation. Here at Furley Page we have trained collaborative lawyers who can assist in resolving those issues in an equally amicable and dignified manner. Should you wish to find out more, please feel free to contact us on 01227 763939.