Are we a step closer to no-fault divorce? Today (8 June 2020) the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill has its second reading in the House of Commons.
Despite a couple of false starts, it is now making steady progress through parliament and with a fair wind could now become law within months.
Reform has been sought from all sectors of the family law profession including lawyers, the judiciary, academics, counselling services as well as the general public.
Why do we want this reform?
Cynics believe that it is to boost the divorce market. That could not be further from the truth.
All the evidence from other jurisdictions that have switched to a no-fault system has shown a short term spike with a quick return to normal divorce numbers.
The real impact is to reduce the areas that divorcing couples need to argue about and research has shown that the current need to find fault heightens tensions and creates unnecessary animosity.
This welcome reform will create a divorce regime that is fit for purpose in the 21st century.
Julian Hawkhead, Senior Partner at Stowe Family Law.