Moving forward with the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill
On 8 June 2020 the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill came one step closer to being passed into law as it had its second reading in the House of Commons. At the end of the debate MPs voted, with the majority in favour of the Bill.
The Bill aims to bring about a change to divorce laws which have not been touched in 50 years. It will end the need for spouses to place blame on each other for the ending of the marriage and instead allow for a joint statement to be made indicating they would like to divorce. The Bill will also update the terminology of divorce and replace old Latin phrases like ‘Decree Absolute’ with ‘Final Order’.
Speaking immediately after the second reading debate in the House of Commons, Margaret Heathcote Chair of Resolution (the umbrella organisation of family practitioners in the UK) said:
“Today’s vote was a victory for common sense and compassion. Resolution members abide by a Code of Practice that aims to reduce conflict and confrontation within the divorce process while considering the needs of the whole family. The current rules of fault-based divorce actively harms the ability of our members to resolve disputes constructively by cementing in conflict from the very start of the process. MPs should be proud of themselves for putting families first. No-fault divorce will ensure more families are able to come to long lasting, amicable and constructive agreements which benefit everyone involved, particularly children.”
Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Ipswich Solicitors.