Divorce update

The closure of parliament has meant that a number of high-profile matters, which have not yet become law, have been lost and the Divorce Bill is one of them.

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We have reported previously on the sad case of the wife trapped in a loveless marriage who was not permitted to divorce her husband under the current divorce laws because the court did not accept that one of the five grounds to prove 'irretrievable breakdown' of the marriage had been made out.

This case led to the introduction of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill which would have introduced 'no fault' divorce. The closure of parliament (known as 'prorogation') has meant that a number of high-profile matters, which have not yet become law, have been lost and the Divorce Bill is one of them. The Bill will only become law if the government decides to re-introduce it during the next parliament.

This means that the current divorce law stands. There is just one 'ground' for divorce – which is that the marriage has 'irretrievably broken down'. This ground is made out by proving one of the five facts:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Two years separation with consent
  • Desertion
  • Five years separation without consent

Whilst it can be relatively straightforward to obtain the divorce, dealing with the financial aspects can be complex. It is important that a divorcing spouse does not lose out on any pension rights, for example. This is why taking specialist advice can be money well spent.

To discuss this or any other family related matter, contact us.

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