“Family Lawyer says there is no such thing as a quickie divorce!” was a line from a media article about the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill currently making its way through Parliament. It is true but the media seems obsessed with the use of ‘quickie divorce’, particularly around celebrities, as though they have access to a different legal route to everyone else.
The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill is a welcome and long overdue reform of the current situation where one party has to take the blame for the collapse of the marriage. In reality a large number of marriages come to an end because people grow apart over time rather than any specific catastrophic event.
The Bill will also allow couples to jointly apply for a divorce, where the decision to separate is a mutual one. The terms “decree nisi” and “decree absolute” will no longer be used. Instead the terms “conditional order” and “final order” will be used moving forward. The Bill also sees the used of “Applicants” instead of “Petitioners”.
Under the new proposals, there must be a minimum six-month period between the lodging of a petition to the divorce being made final. This, interestingly, substantially increases the theoretical minimum time period for a Divorce to be granted.
Disputes over money, hidden assets and matters relating to children will still be there in many Divorces after these changes have been made. The original “blame” game may have gone but the real devil, as ever, will remain in the detail of the Divorce.
Please contact rhw’s Family Law Team for legal advice you need and deserve.
For further information read our divorce pages.