Justice Secretary confirms plans to reduce conflict in divorce


28 September 2018

By Farhad Islam

What proposals is the government's consultation on divorce law reform likely to include?

  • A new process to remove need for couples to have been separated or to allege ‘fault’ in order to obtain divorce
  • Spouses would no longer be able to contest the divorce application
  • retaining the sole ground for divorce: the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage
  • removing the need to show evidence of the other spouse’s conduct, or a period of living apart
  • introducing a new notification process where one, or possibly both parties, can notify the court of the intention to divorce
  • removing the opportunity for the other spouse to contest the divorce application

The consultation also seeks views on the minimum timeframe for the process between the interim decree of divorce (decree nisi) and final decree of divorce (decree absolute) – currently a minimum of at least 6 weeks. This will allow couples time to reflect on the decision to divorce and to reach agreement on arrangements for the future where divorce is inevitable.

The consultation process delivers on the Justice Secretary’s commitment to reform these aspects of divorce law, and bring the UK in line with other countries that already have similar procedures.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks, closing on 10 December 2018.

Gepp Solicitors have a wealth of experience in family law, having just celebrated their 250th year in business. Email family@gepp.co.uk or call 01245 228106 today to speak to one of our experts.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.