The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill concluded its passage through the House of Commons.
It will return to the House of Lords to consider an amendment before receiving Royal assent. However, lord chancellor Robert Buckland told MPs that the bill’s reforms will not come into force on Royal assent ‘because time needs to be allowed for careful implementation’.
Buckland said: ‘At this early stage, we are working towards an indicative timetable of implementation in autumn 2021.’
However, family lawyers are delighted to see the bill reach the end of its parliamentary journey. The Law Society said ‘no-fault’ divorce will bring divorce law into the 21st century.
Law Society president Simon Davis said: ‘We have long argued the notice period should begin when the divorce application is received by the respondent rather than when the divorce is applied for – ensuring both partners are on the same page from the start and have sufficient time to seek the legal and financial advice they need. We commend the government for moving forward with the legislation and would welcome any opportunities to address our concerns around the notice period.’