No new legislation in family law
In the wake of another general election, Parliament has been dissolved today, 6 November 2019, to allow campaigning to get underway. This means that any bill going through Parliament which does not receive Royal Assent and make it onto the statute books will fall away in its entirety. Sadly the Domestic Abuse Bill, which was at committee stage in the House of Commons, and the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill, which was awaiting its second reading in the House of Commons, will fall.
Many practitioners involved in family disputes have been campaigning for years for the Government to act and update the law so that it reflects the morals and values of modern day society. There is no guarantee that these bills will be introduced by the next Parliament but campaigners will continue to champion these causes in the hope that one day they will pass into law.
The most recent Government had also committed to change the law by 31 December 2019 to allow opposite-sex couples to form civil partnerships. A consultation on this concluded on 20 August 2019 but these is no guarantee that this issue will be high on the new Government’s agenda.
Until such changes are made to the law, family practitioners must continue to advise those separating and divorcing based on the current rules and regulations. For anyone experiencing family breakdown it is important to get clear advice on where each party stands and what options are available to resolve any dispute. At Barker Gotelee the family team can offer an initial consultation with our experienced family solicitors to discuss each and every situation.
Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors in Suffolk.