Introduction to the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020
Published by a LexisPSL Family expert

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Introduction to the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020
  • DDSA 2020–key provisions
  • HMCTS guidance and deadlines
  • HMCTS deadlines for submission of applications prior to 6 April 2022
  • HMCTS guidance and forms
  • Terminology
  • Procedural changes
  • Service
  • Service by email
  • Who is to serve the application
  • More...

Introduction to the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020

This Practice Note considers the key provisions contained in the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 (DDSA 2020), including the introduction of no-fault divorce, the ability for the first time for parties to make joint applications for divorce, dissolution, and separation, and the introduction of a new 20-week period between the start of the proceedings (when the court issues the application) and when the applicant(s) may apply for a conditional order. It also explains the new terminology and the changes made to the divorce and dissolution procedure including changes relating to service, the transitional provisions and the deadlines given by HMCTS regarding the issue of proceedings prior to implementation of DDSA 2020.

This Practice Note considers the changes that are made as a consequence of DDSA 2020 to the procedure for divorce and dissolution. It does not cover the specific changes that are made in relation to judicial separation, separation and nullity proceedings.

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill received Royal Assent on 25 June 2020 becoming DDSA 2020 and is in force from 6 April 2022.

DDSA 2020 has been referred to as the biggest reform of divorce law in England and Wales for 50 years. It removes the requirement to establish one of the five facts contained in section 1(2) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA

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