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  • John Pratley

No Fault Divorce Is Back On Track.

Updated: Apr 24


Expert family law divorce solicitor Bristol and Exeter.


The Divorce, Separation and Dissolution Bill which will introduce a no fault divorce system his back on course.

The bill was originally introduced to Parliament in June 2019 but it came to a standstill twice – once following the prorogation of Parliament in September 2019 (subsequently declared unlawful) and then as a result of the December 2019 general election, by which stage it had passed through the committee stage of the House of Commons.


It looked as if it might go no further, but following the re-election of the Conservative government it has been resurrected and it was introduced to the House of Lords on 7 January 2020. So it now looks likely that it will become law.


As discussed in previous posts, the bill will simplify the process of divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, and get rid of the need to allege fault for couples who have not lived apart for two years. There are concerns in some quarters that making the process of divorce easier and less contentious will undermine the institution of marriage by encouraging people to divorce rather than to remain married. But the truth is that marriages break down despite the law rather than because of it. These changes will help people to manage that process sensibly and constructively, and will bring the law into line with what has effectively become the practice in the courts for many years.



John Pratley is an expert divorce lawyer, who has more than 25 years experience advising clients purely about divorce and related family law issues, such as the financial consequences of separating and divorcing. After establishing the first niche family law practice in Bristol, and going on to senior management roles in a national firm, John set up Apple Tree Family Law in 2018. Apple tree family Law solicitors specialise in advice about divorce and financial issues.

We are based in Bristol and Exeter, but we have clients all over the UK and further afield. We offer, simply, clear and accurate advice about divorce and family law issues, and the very best client service, for a clear and reasonable price.


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