‘Quickie divorces’ are to be scrapped under the new Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill, it has been revealed.
The widely welcomed Bill received its first reading in Parliament this month after being delayed by the snap General Election in December.
The new laws are primarily aimed at ending the “divorce blame game” by eliminating the requirement for one partner to make accusations about the other’s conduct.
While the legislation is designed to reduce the impact a divorce can have on a couple and their children, the new laws will increase the minimum waiting period between the initial petition stage and when the court grants the provisional decree of divorce to at least 20 weeks.
Including the existing six week waiting period between the granting of the decree nisi and the decree absolute, a divorce will now take a minimum of six months to process.
This is near double the current waiting time for 40 per cent of all divorces in England and Wales, which are granted within three to four months of petition.
Commenting on the legislation, the Government said the new waiting period “will provide a meaningful period of reflection and the chance to turn back”, or where divorce is inevitable, “it will better enable couples to cooperate and make arrangements for the future”.
However, experts have argued that the extended waiting time is likely to put greater stress on couples looking to end a marriage as soon as possible.
For more information about the new rules, get in touch with our expert family law team today.