Parliamentary briefing: Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill - House of Lords report stage

This briefing outlines our views in relation to the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill ahead of report stage in the House of Lords on 17 March.

The Bill will reform the process in England and Wales for married couples to obtain a divorce or judicial separation and for civil partners to dissolve their civil partnership (a process termed dissolution), by introducing a ‘no fault’ divorce model.

The bill will:

  • replace the requirement to provide evidence of conduct or separation with a new requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown followed by an overall period of notice of 26 weeks
  • remove the possibility of contesting the divorce as the statement of irretrievable breakdown will be taken as determinative of such
  • introduce the option for a joint application
  • update the language used to ensure it is fit for the modern age; for example, decree nisi to conditional order and decree nisi to final order

The Law Society's position

We welcome and supports the government’s introduction of ‘no fault’ divorce in this Bill.

We're also supportive of joint petitions and the principle of a divorce based on the statement of irretrievable breakdown of marriage coupled with the 26-week notice period.