Divorces filed prior to 31 March remain subject to the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1973, but, as highlighted in BVWire—UK previously, as of 6 April, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 went into effect. No longer will those seeking a divorce need to attribute their separation to adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, two years’ separation under consent, or five years’ separation.
Many experts have spoken out against the manipulations of the previous statute not only on both the parties, but also on the court system and frequently on financial experts hired to sort through contested assets. Still, it had been delayed seven years from its initial introduction by the government.
The changes apply equally to the dissolution of civil partnerships, which eliminates some particularly outdated aspects with regard to same-sex marriages and a reliance on routine definitions of “unreasonable behavior.”
Instead, the new act enables applications to the court for an order that dissolves the marriage on the sole ground that it has broken down irretrievably. The new act also includes a 26-week cooling-off period, including a conditional order and a final divorce order.
Recriminations aside, the valuation work financial remedies remain unchanged, and a legal order in those proceedings will still become effective on receipt of the final divorce order.
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