Lords debates Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill

Image of lords chamber with members
06 February 2020

Members of the Lords discussed the key principles and purpose of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill during second reading on Wednesday 5 February. Speakers taking part included a former social worker, Lord Chancellor and deputy president of the Supreme Court.

Members discussed a range of issues highlighted by the bill, including:

  • the proposed minimum 26 week period for divorce proceedings
  • the impact of parental divorce on the mental health of children and young people
  • the question of necessity for a legal distinction between opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

Baroness Hunt of Bethnal Green (Crossbench), former chief executive of Stonewall, made her maiden speech.

Lord Keen of Elie (Conservative), spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice, opened the debate on the bill and responded on behalf of the government.

Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill summary

This bill aims to:

  • revise the legal process in England and Wales so that married couples may obtain a divorce or judicial separation
  • allow civil partners to dissolve their civil partnership or obtain a separation.

 Further information

Image: House of Lords 2018 / Photography by Roger Harris

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