Examination of Witnesses

Part of Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:28 am on 2nd July 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Nigel Shepherd:

The position at the moment is that under the legislation for financial remedy, relief, maintenance or transfer of property, the court can make an order only when we have reached what is now the decree nisi stage, which will be the conditional order stage under the proposals. If you need to move on financially, you need to access the orders; even by agreement, the court cannot do that until there is a conditional order.

A two-year wait is a lifetime. Once people have reached the sad conclusion that their marriage is over, they are told that they can get on with some things but will have to come back in two years’ time and relive that, so when faced with the option of, “All you need to do is put down some mild allegations of behaviour, and we can get on with it,” that it the choice they make. That is why those percentages of fault-based grounds are so high. Even where people agree that it is a game they are playing to get through, it still increases conflict; you can still derail those negotiations and have an impact on the family.