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Change to Divorce Law

09 April 2019

Sharon McKie

divorce law

Changes to Divorce law will be made as soon as Parliamentary time becomes available according to the Justice Secretary. This will be the biggest change in divorce law in 50 years.

At the moment, one party has to allege unreasonable behaviour or adultery if they have not been separated for two or five years. The new legislation would mean only having to assert that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, without having to attribute blame or wait for at least two years.

There will be a six-month period for reflection before the Decree Absolute is granted. The aim of the overhaul is to reduce conflict between divorcing spouses. David Gauke who announced the changes said “While we will always uphold the institution of marriage, it cannot be right that our outdated law creates or increases conflict between divorcing couples. So, I have listened to calls for reform and firmly believe now is the right time to end this unnecessary blame game for good”

It will also be possible in the future for there to be a joint application for a divorce. The changes are long overdue and will hopefully reduce conflict and hostility which can be damaging for divorcing spouses and their children.

Sharon McKie, Head of the Family Department at Taylor Bracewell says “These changes in divorce law have taken many years to be approved and will be welcomed by divorcing couples and family lawyers once introduced. It is to be hoped that parliamentary time is made available in the near future and the long-awaited changes are finally implemented”

If you would like to enquire about divorce or separation, or any family matters, please do not hesitate to contact Taylor Bracewell’s family team:

Sharon McKie, head of family law: 01302 341414 or you can email Sharon at