The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill received Royal Assent on 25th June and is now passed but for those couples who were hoping for quick access to a way to divorce without blame ...they may be waiting a little longer - Autumn 2021 to be precise .
The Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland indicated that :
‘At this early stage, we are working towards an indicative timetable of implementation in autumn 2021.’
There were some early concerns that this could amount to a "quickie" divorce but appropriate safe guards have bene put in place with regard to time periods to make sure it delviers what was intended a more pragmatic solution for the 100,000 couples who divorce each year , whilst not offering a soft option for what is always a life changing decision .
Margaret Heathcote, chair of family law group Resolution, said lawyers will be better able to support couples to resolve matters ‘as constructively and amicably as possible, minimising the impact on any children they may have’.
However, concerns remain.
Law Society president Simon Davis said: ‘We have long argued the notice period should begin when the divorce application is received by the respondent rather than when the divorce is applied for – ensuring both partners are on the same page from the start and have sufficient time to seek the legal and financial advice they need. We commend the government for moving forward with the legislation and would welcome any opportunities to address our concerns around the notice period.’
Details of the Act can be accessed here : http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2020/11/section/1/enacted
Overalll however this new procedure can only be a good thing for Clients , it will encourage parties who have reached this difficult point in their lives to strive to bring their marriage to an end together in a spirit of cooperation which in many cases may also influences them to adopt a similar approach to resolving issues relating to their children and finances , It is hoped that its journey now to implementaiton will not be too elongated .