18 Jun No fault divorce law – is it law?
The long awaited no fault divorce law is nearly with us. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill [HL] 2019-21 which provides for the change to no fault divorces has been debated in the House of Lords and the House of Commons, it needs to go back to the House of Lords so they can consider an amendment before it becomes law. However, if it becomes law it cannot be used straight away. The Lord Chancellor has said:
“The Bill’s reforms will not come into force on Royal Assent, because time needs to be allowed for careful implementation. At this early stage, we are working towards an indicative timetable of implementation in autumn 2021.” Hansard
Couples will therefore not be able to use the new no fault divorce law straight away, as there will be a delay while the courts get set up for it to be used and the necessary application forms are prepared. It is not anticipated that couples will be able to use it until autumn 2021 so until 1) it becomes law and 2) a date for when the new law can be used is set, couples will have to continue to use the existing divorce law. Bearing in mind the delays so far, whether or not no fault divorces will be possible in autumn 2021 is another matter. In the meantime, couples will have to use the existing law which requires one person to be named as the person at fault unless parties separate and wait for 2 years or 5 years before applying for a divorce. However, there are sometimes tax, financial consequences and other reasons why waiting for 2 or 5 years is not advisable.
If you need divorce advice because you are thinking of separating or are separated please contact me, Genette Gale, Family Solicitor and Collaborative Lawyer, on 01747 857303 or email@example.com