Sunday, 23 June 2019

Divorce Reform Latest


For the story so far, see -

The proposed changes to matrimonial law are contained in the swingingly entitled Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill which is due to receive its second reading in the Commons next Tuesday 25 June 2019. 

A couple of surprises (to me, at least). Generally, if one of the parties to a marriage or civil partnership states in court papers that the marriage or civil partnership has irretrievably broken down, that will be accepted by the court as conclusive evidence that - it has irretrievably broken down. On the face if it, then, no chance for the other party to defend the case on the basis that, for example, 'She kissed me on the lips this morning and suggested we go on a second honeymoon'. My guess is that this provision will be attacked during the Bill's parliamentary passage.

And there will be the opportunity for the other party to the proceedings to block the finalising of the second decree - we call it the decree absolute at the moment -  so that the court can consider whether any financial provision for that party made by the party after their freedom from the relationship, is reasonable enough. Under the current law, this opportunity exits but only where the divorce or partnership dissolution is going ahead on the basis of separation (two years' with consent or five years even without consent).

I'll keep you posted.