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The Ministry of Justice says it will announce how it intends to reform the legal requirements for divorce 'very soon' as research of international processes, published yesterday, highlights the challenges for litigants in person in England and Wales.

The Nuffield Foundation's report, Reforming the Ground for Divorce: Experiences from Other Jurisdictions, says the number of mandatory steps to get divorced is greater in England and Wales than elsewhere.

The procedure in some other jurisdictions is 'typically very simple', with one or two mandatory procedures or legal steps leading to the divorce. Interim decrees appear to be 'largely unknown'. California abolished interlocutory decrees in the 1980s, 'partly based on concern that litigants in person were unaware of the need to apply for the final decree'.

'The simplicity of the process elsewhere contrasts with England and Wales where the petitioner must reaffirm their desire to divorce on multiple occasions - at the application (petition) for divorce, the application for decree nisi and then with the application for decree absolute,' the report says.

Full story: Law Gazette

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