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Law Articles

Proposed changes to divorce proceedings 04/06/2019

No date has been fixed by the Government to implement the proposed changes to the current divorce procedure, however the following points are likely to feature in those changes:

  • irretrievable breakdown of a marriage to remain the sole ground for divorce;
  • replacing the requirement to provide "evidence" for unreasonable behaviour or separation with a requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown instead, thereby removing the current "fault" element in divorce proceedings;
  • retaining the two-stage legal process currently referred to as decree nisi and decree absolute;
  • creating the option of a joint application for divorce, alongside retaining the option for one party to initiate the process;
  • removing the ability to contest a divorce; and
  • introducing a minimum timeframe of 6 months from petition stage to final divorce (20 weeks from petition stage to decree nisi and 6 weeks from decree nisi to decree absolute).

The proposed changes relate to divorce proceedings only, not to financial remedy proceedings (division of family assets) which is the part most divorcing couples find challenging. To minimise conflict between the parties, and to keep legal fees down, we always advise clients to obtain legal advice on the likely division of family assets at the outset of divorce proceedings if possible. Such advice can really help the divorcing couple manage their expectations in respect of the likely outcome, which in turn promotes a more constructive approach to negotiating a financial settlement.

For further information and advice on this issue, and other family law issues, please contact us for a free initial consultation on 01992 306 616 or 0207 956 2740 or email us.

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Manor Law Ltd, trading as Manor Law Family Solicitors, is a registered company in England and Wales - number 7977350, and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority - Hertford office SRA number 567506 and City of London office SRA number 568637. Copyright © Manor Law, 2016. All rights reserved.
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