Richard Bacon MP’s no fault divorce bill is having its second reading in the House of Commons this Friday, 4 December 2015.

At present the only no fault fact upon which a Petitioner for divorce can rely is two years separation with the consent of the Respondent, or five years separation. Therefore there is a wait following separation before a no fault based petition can be issued.

If parties have reached agreement in relation to their finances and the parenting of their children, they often seek a final order to reflect the agreement and implement certain aspects of it. The final order can also create a legal clean break which is desired by some for both financial and emotional reasons.

The court cannot make final orders until Decree Nisi has been pronounced within divorce proceedings. This can create delay and anxiety for parties if they cannot settle their financial affairs with an order unless they base their divorce petition on a fault based fact.

The agreements reached shortly after separation can be disrupted if the law then requires one party to provide particulars of unreasonable behaviour or adultery. It does not assist with amicable negotiations or parenting children going forward.

The no fault divorce bill is intended to make provision for the dissolution of a marriage or civil partnership when each party has separately made a declaration that the marriage or civil partnership has irretrievably broken down without a requirement by either party to satisfy the Court of any other facts.

This will be a significant step forward in divorce law if approved, and will allow a swift, amicable divorce without the need for a significant period of separation.

For further advice in relation to divorce or separation, please contact one of our award winning family law solicitors.