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If you have any questions about no-fault divorces or any other family matter, please call Gemma Gillespie at CooperBurnett Solicitors

By Gemma Gillespie, Partner

 On 27 October 2015, I wrote an article on the issue of no-fault divorces and, at that time, I was optimistic that the Government would be shortly introducing such a law. Just under five years later and the end appears finally to be in sight…

 On the 17 June the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill 2019 will be committed to a committee of the Whole House and the remaining stages should be completed.

This means that, in a matter of weeks, couples will be able to either jointly or on their own, apply for a divorce. Protections will be in place, in that there will still be a cooling off period of 20 weeks, within which the parties can agree arrangements for finances and the children or even reconciliation.

It will remain the case that the applicant will need to make a formal application for the Decree Absolute, which will now be called a Final Order, rather than it just happening automatically.

Most family solicitors will tell you that our experience of the current law is farcical. We are, in one breath, encouraging our clients to put aside animosity and try and reach an amicable resolution for the benefit of the whole family, most importantly the children while, at the same time, asking them to dredge up particulars of unreasonable behaviour against their spouse. At last this ridiculous state of affairs, should be consigned to the history books.

NOTE (19 June 2020): "It appears I was a little too optimistic when I said we were 'weeks' away from the new law coming into effect in my last article. Robert Buckland, the Lord Chancellor, has told MPs the Bill’s reforms will not come into force on Royal assent 'because time needs to be allowed for careful implementation' so it appears the government is working towards Autumn 2021. This is disappointing but not surprising given the history of this legislation."

If you have any questions about this or any other family matter, please call Gemma Gillespie on tel: 01892 515022 or

This blog is not intended as legal advice that can be relied upon and CooperBurnett does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of its contents.

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June 16, 2020
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