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Divorce, Dissolution & Separation Act

Posted by Albie 
Divorce, Dissolution & Separation Act
May 06, 2021 11:11AM
Could you advise please if the new Divorce, Dissolution & Separation Act is still coming into force in the autumn of this year or has it been pushed back? I understand that it introduces some major changes.
many thanks
Re: Divorce, Dissolution & Separation Act
May 06, 2021 03:06PM
Yes, it is due to come into force in the Autumn. The Lord Chancellor brings it into force by laying statutory instruments before Parliament. There is no single commencement date. Different sections of the Act may be brought into force on different days. Indeed, some parts of the Act came into force on the day the Act was passed in 2020 but if you mean whether no fault divorce is in force yet the answer is not yet.
Re: Divorce, Dissolution & Separation Act
May 06, 2021 03:14PM
Thanks for the clarification David
Re: Divorce, Dissolution & Separation Act
June 09, 2021 05:49PM
For those watching and waiting, it seems that the 'no fault' divorce element has now been confirmed for 6th April 2022!
Shame that they've missed the Autumn 2021 target but better late than never I guess.
Re: Divorce, Dissolution & Separation Act
June 10, 2021 10:31AM
I am not sure that removal of fault in divorce is actually progress. The reason unreasonable behaviour is so much relied upon as a ground for divorce is that if you decide you want a divorce today you can issue a petition on that ground today. Once you have 'no fault' divorce you can bet your life there will be some form of compulsory delay or obstacle before you can issue a divorce petition. After all, there is 'no fault' divorce now. It is based on two years' separation and the other spouse consenting or five years' separation if there is no consent. Would you prefer to issue a divorce petition immediately or be made to wait two or five years? It is a no brainer if the marriage has broken down. You watch. When this no fault divorce comes there is sure to be some sort of compulsory delay or hoop to jump through.

This is what the Act actually says,

>>The court may not make a conditional order unless—

(a)in the case of an application that is to proceed as an application by one party to the marriage only, that party has confirmed to the court that they wish the application to continue, or

(b)in the case of an application that is to proceed as an application by both parties to the marriage, those parties have confirmed to the court that they wish the application to continue;

and a party may not give confirmation for the purposes of this subsection before the end of the period of 20 weeks from the start of proceedings.

(6)The Lord Chancellor may by order made by statutory instrument amend this section so as to shorten or lengthen the period for the purposes of subsection (4)(b) or (5).<<

Notice that. There is a compulsory delay of 20 weeks built in. Would you prefer to apply for divorce immediately on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour and apply for decree nisi as soon as the acknowledgement of service has been returned or would you prefer to wait 20 weeks before you can even apply for decree nisi so that you can have a 'no fault' divorce? And do you think the courts will process your application for decree nisi immediately after the 20 weeks? Ask anyone how long they take at the moment and ask yourself if it will be any quicker. Once this legislation comes into force I think you can expect a divorce to take the better part of a year. Do you think that is progress? I don't.
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