Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill: Commons second reading

25 June 2019

MPs debated the second reading of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill in the House of Commons on Tuesday 25 June 2019.

Second reading

The Secretary of State for Justice, David Gauke, opened the debate on behalf of the Government. Shadow Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Richard Burgon replied on behalf of the Opposition. The Bill passed second reading without a division and now progresses to Committee stage. Proceedings in Committee stage are expected to conclude by Thursday 4 July 2019.

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill 2017-19

Summary of the Bill

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 13 June 2019. 

The Bill aims to:

  • replace the requirement to provide evidence of conduct or separation facts with a new requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown;
  • remove the possibility of contesting the decision to divorce, as the statement of irretrievable breakdown would be taken as conclusive evidence that the marriage has broken down irretrievably;
  • introduce a new option of a joint application;
  • introduce a minimum overall timeframe of six months into the divorce process;
  • enable the Lord Chancellor, by order, to adjust the time periods;
  • update terminology.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation, including amendment papers, on the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill and find out how a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

House of Commons Library analysis

The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs and their staff of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial.

The Library has published a briefing paper for second reading.

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