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The Divorce, Dissolution And Separation Act 2020: What Does It Mean?

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By Author: Grant Saw Solicitors LLP
Total Articles: 11
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The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 came into effect on 6th April 2022. What this means is that married couples can divorce without expressing blame. This represents a complete change to the law where both parties are no longer required to be at fault and desire a divorce without reconciliation, which received Royal Assent in June 2020.

The new Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act conveys many changes to be implemented such as the term ‘no-fault divorce’ will replace five listed options on legal documents for the reasoning of the divorce: adultery, behaviour, desertion, and five years of separation.

This new Act has been widely accepted in the change from fault-based to no-fault divorce proceedings. It empowers people to make their own decisions about their separation enabling proceedings to be more agreeable and minimise potential conflict. Previously, under the divorce legislation, there was a minimum of a two-year separation period with the need to state the cause of the divorce.

Should couples try to blame one another for the divorce it will be eliminated. However, it is possible ...
... to give notice of an intended divorce or declare the end of civil partnership as an individual or as a couple. After notice has been given, two stages will commence known as; ‘Decree Nisi’ meaning the Court finds no reason to not grant the divorce and ‘Decree Absolute’ meaning the divorce is now final. Each couple will need to undergo a minimum notice period of six months.

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act serves to simplify the process for divorce and allows for online divorce applications. Under the new legislation, the process should be completed within six months from the date the application was issued.

The Court will send a notice of confirmation to the respondent who will need to reply to the application within 14-days. Once the ‘divorce order’ has been issued, the applicant can apply for a conditional order of divorce, which replaces the Decree Nisi after 20 weeks has passed. A further period of 6 weeks and one day (43 days) must pass after the conditional order before the applicant can apply for a final order.

This time period allows the couple to reconsider their decision and give them a chance to withdraw their application if they find reconciliation and change their mind. The parties will only need to submit a statement to the court and apply for a ‘final order’ replacing the Decree Absolute and confirm their intent to divorce. The final order will end the marriage.
The legislation enables both parties to make a joint divorce application. It allows for one of the parties to apply for a divorce and removes the opportunity for the respondent to defend or contest the divorce application.
This allows many couples to issue divorce applications independently, however, it is usually a good idea to consult with a divorce attorney to assist with the final separation process. Divorce proceedings are usually stressful and some take a lengthy period of time to be finalised. It is important to ensure that all financial ties are severed from the ex-spouse. If this is not finalised properly it could result where the ex-spouse making a financial claim in the future, regardless of the time that passed since the divorce was settled.

When the couple applies for a joint divorce application the court will send both parties a notice of proceedings where both parties will need to respond. Once the parties have acknowledged receipt of the notice the divorce proceedings will begin on a joint basis.

About Us:

Grant Saw Solicitors in London were established in 1851 with offices in Greenwich and Blackheath, offering a variety of legal services to individuals and businesses. They received recognition for excellence in industry standards and are proud owners of numerous awards and accreditations including Lexcel, the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS), the Law Society’s family law accreditation and the Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS). In 2013, they received the global ISO 9001 standard, recognising firms that determine excellence. As members of LawNet, a national network of law firms, they provide advice, ideas and resources. With their friendly and modern approach combined with traditional excellence, they provide superior services to their clients. Visit, https://grantsaw.com/.

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