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No Fault Divorce Bill Postponed


No Fault Divorce Bill 

Latest news on the No Fault Divorce Bill

The second reading of the proposed No Fault Divorce bill has been postponed until the next session of parliament, which began on 18th May 2016. No date has yet been set.

The proposed legislation would amend existing marriage and partnership law It would introduce an option to divorce solely through the written consent of both parties, with no other reason needed or and no requirement to attribute fault.

No Fault Divorce – what does this actually mean?

The intention is to take the need for allegations of fault out of divorce proceedings when parties have been separated less than 2 years with the hope that this will make it a more amicable process. 

At present, parties either have to allege adultery (and the respondent then admit adultery) or make allegations of unreasonable behaviour in order to divorce where they have been separated for less than 2 years. If they don’t want to do this, they have to wait until they have lived apart for 2 years (with the Respondent’s consent to a divorce at that point), or 5 years if the Respondent won’t consent to divorce. 

Until the bill is approved, we don’t know what procedural amendments will be made, or what the costs may be, but our family law team anticipate it may speed up the procedure. It will also mean people can divorce straight away rather than waiting 2 years or more to avoid any animosity caused by the allegations being made.

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