Yesterday saw the state opening of Parliament, and the latest Queen’s Speech, setting out the government’s legislative agenda for the first session of the new Parliament. The Queen may have felt a certain sense of deja vu having given her last speech in Parliament a mere 66 days earlier on 14 October.
This time around, the Divorce Dissolution and Separation Bill has made it back on to the list of legislation that this new Government wants to introduce. The full text of the draft Bill as previously presented in the last session of Parliament by the then Justice Secretary, David Gauke (remember him?) can be found here.
No Fault Divorce
The bill will aim to minimise conflict during divorce procedures and remove the requirement for Petitioners or, (as they are now to be known) ‘Applicants’ to make allegations about their spouse’s conduct or demonstrate a period of separation. If passed, it will amend existing legislation to remove the need to prove a factual element to the divorce – introducing the so called ‘no fault divorce’. It will apply to divorce, dissolution and separation.
The wording of many of the existing provisions will go, including a ‘petition for divorce’ which will become an application for a ‘divorce order’. ‘Decree nisi’ will be replaced by ‘conditional order’ and there will no longer be a ‘Decree absolute’ in favour of a final ‘Divorce order’.
It remains to be seen whether the new Parliament will approve the new legislation, although one would expect given the Government’s majority and the fact that it is their own piece of legislation that it will eventually come to pass. However one thing is certain, it won’t be in time for the so called ‘D-Day’ Divorce Day – expected to be 6 January 2020. It remains to be seen whether the number of divorce enquiries does hit a peak in January. For a few years now, Paradigm Family Law has challenged the apparent orthodoxy in this regard in our previous articles. We will let our readers know in the New Year!
Until then we wish all of our readers, clients and supporters alike a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Paradigm Family Law have a team of experienced lawyers to help guide you through the process of divorce, just waiting to hear from you.
If you would like more details on this or want to discuss your family law matter, please do not hesitate to contact James, Frank, Evelyn or Paul. Paradigm Family Law offers a free initial consultation and our fixed fee solutions cover financial proceedings from start to finish. You can call us on 01904 217225 or email us to [email protected].