The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill has been dropped following Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament. As a result of parliament being prorogued any existing bills (including The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill along with a proposed law protecting domestic violence victims) have failed to be pulled over to the next session. Whilst the lost bills can be re-introduced on 14th October 2019, it means that MPs and peers must start their hard work all over again.

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill would have allowed couples to divorce on a “no fault” basis meaning unless allegations are made via the unreasonable behaviour fact (most commonly used) or by relying on adultery or desertion, couples must now wait two or five years to officially “separate”.

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill has had an overwhelming amount of support amongst family law practitioner and clearly identifies an encouragement for amicable separations.

As to the domestic violence bill, this was introduced with cross-party support which would have established a definition of domestic abuse to help victims and the public understand what type of behaviour it constitutes. Unfortunately whilst this bill was at its very early stages, it has caused great dismay to the public who have been fighting hard for its introduction for the last few years.

Sir James Munby, the former president of the Family Division, voiced his “dismay and frustration”, saying: “This is a vitally important bill tackling what everyone agrees is a very great social evil.”

The public and legal practitioners will have to wait until 14th October to see whether Parliament chooses to re-introduce the Bills.

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