Have your say on the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill

26 June 2019

Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Divorce, Dissolution & Separation Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament?

If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill.

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration.

The Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 2 July 2019; it will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage, which is expected to be not later than 7.00pm on Tuesday 2 July 2019. However, please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 7.00pm on Tuesday 2 July.*

 

* In the last Parliamentary Session, the following Public Bill Committees concluded their consideration of the Bill earlier than scheduled: Criminal Finances, Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts), Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs), Neighbourhood Planning, Savings (Government Contributions), Technical and Further Education, Commonwealth Development Corporation, Children & Social Work, National Citizen Service, and Bus Services.

Aims of the Bill

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 13 June 2019 as Bill 404 of 2017-19. In short, it would:

  • 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.

The law relating to judicial separation, and to dissolution of civil partnership and separation of civil partners, would be amended in a similar way.

Follow the progress of the Divorce, Dissolution & Separation Bill

The Divorce, Dissolution & Separation Bill 2017-19 (HC Bill 404) was published on 13 June 2019. The Second reading of the Bill in the House of Commons was held on Tuesday 25 June 2019.

This Bill has now been committed to a Public Bill Committee and is expected to hold oral evidence sessions on the morning of Tuesday 2 July 2019. The Public Bill Committee must conclude by 7.00pm on Tuesday 2 July.

Guidance on submitting written evidence

Deadline for written evidence submissions

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration, and possibly reflect it in an amendment. The order in which amendments are taken in Committee will be available in due course under Selection of Amendments on the Bill documents pages. Once the Committee has dealt with an amendment it will not revisit it.

The Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 2 July 2019; it will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage on Tuesday 2 July 2019. Please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 7.00pm on Tuesday 2 July 2019.

Your submission should be emailed to scrutiny@parliament.uk.

Further guidance on submitting written evidence can be found here.

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