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It's anticipated that the new divorce Act will come into force in Autumn 2021

07 January 2021

Sharon McKie


The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020


It is anticipated that the new divorce Act will come into force in Autumn 2021. It will introduce a “no-fault” divorce which is long-awaited. For the first time, the Act allows parties to issue a joint divorce petition by submitting a statement of irretrievable breakdown. There will be a period of waiting, possibly 5 to 6 months, before being able to finalise the divorce. The current stages of divorce known as decree nisi and decree absolute will be replaced with a conditional order and a final order. Whilst in some circumstances, the divorce may take longer, it will allow time for the parties to reflect on their decision and to resolve any financial issues. The parties will no longer have to wait for two years where neither spouse can, or wants to issue proceedings on the behaviour of the other. 

Sharon McKie, Head of the Family Department comments “Married couples and Solicitors alike will welcome the opportunity for parties to be able to divorce on a more amicable basis, without having to attribute blame. The ability to issue joint proceedings is also beneficial where the parties have children. It sends a message that the parents have reached an amicable decision about their marriage and that this has not been the decision of one party alone. Whilst this may not remove dispute altogether, the new Act will hopefully go a long way to making the painful process of divorce more peaceful for the couple and any children.”


Taylor Bracewell Family team are here to help with any issues you are currently having in respect of your separation. Please call us on 01302 341414.