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Divorce

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 18th March 2020.

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Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the oral contribution of 3 March 2020 of the Advocate General for Scotland in Committee on the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill, HL Deb column 579, if he will publish the evidence base for the assertion that rather more than 80% of divorces take place sooner than the timescale set out in the Bill.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Government published an Impact Assessment for the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill when first introduced to Parliament in June 2019. This document can be found at

https://services.parliament.uk/Bills/2017-19/divorcedissolutionandseparation/documents.html

The Bill seeks to introduce a new minimum 20-week period between the start of divorce proceedings and when the court can be asked to make the conditional order of divorce (currently known as Decree Nisi). Together with the existing 6-week minimum period between Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute a divorce under the Bill would take a minimum of 26-weeks overall. The Impact Assessment estimates that 78% of cases with no linked financial remedy application and 82% of cases with such a linked application would take longer under the Bill.

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