News

Law Commission looks at financial provision on divorce

  • September 12, 2012 test
  • By Hunters Law

The Law Commission has published a Consultation Paper addressing some of the issues that arise when the Court has to resolve financial arrangements on divorce.

The Law Commission is looking at how the Court determines the amount of maintenance which should be payable after a divorce, and for how long it should be paid. Under current law, it should only be paid insofar as it is required to meet “needs”, but there is no definition or consistent judicial interpretation of “need”. This makes it hard to predict what maintenance will be ordered.

One solution suggested is the use of a formula. Formulas are used in the USA and Canada, and are based upon both parties’ incomes, the length of the marriage, and the ages of any children. The Law Commission is clear that there would need to be the possibility of variation if the formula operated unfairly in a particular case.

The Paper also addresses “non-matrimonial” assets, i.e. property received by inheritance or gift, or owned before the marriage, by one party. Under the current law the presumption that assets should be shared equally does not apply to non-matrimonial assets as it does to other assets. However, the rules that do apply to non-matrimonial assets are not clearly established, and different Judges take different approaches. The Law Commission proposes that non-matrimonial assets should not be shared at all, unless that is necessary to meet the other party’s needs.

We hope the Commission’s work will result in a system that provides more certainty, but this is unlikely to happen for some time yet, as a Final Report is not due until next autumn. In the meantime, the uncertainty is contributing to an increasing number of couples using pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements to set out what they would want to happen to their finances in the event of divorce.

Please contact a member of our Family Team if you would like advice on any of the issues mentioned above.

Related News

May 22, 2019
Henry Hood discusses the division of private corporate assets on divorce in Legalease’s Family Law Journal
May 17, 2019
Henry Hood wins the Career Achievement Award at the Citywealth Magic Circle Awards 2019
May 15, 2019
Hetty Gleave examines sensitive family proceedings and public confidence in The Times
May 10, 2019
Hetty Gleave comments on Sir Andrew McFarlane’s plans to boost news coverage of family court proceedings in Family Law Week
May 09, 2019
Hetty Gleave and Anna Roiser discuss child maintenance and things to consider as summer approaches
May 03, 2019
Hunters’ Family Department featured in Spear’s Magazine
May 03, 2019
Henry Hood recommended in the Spear’s Indices 2019 for Family Lawyers 2019
Apr 30, 2019
Hazel Wright examines three cases that have proved useful to family lawyers regarding the Human Rights Act 1998 in Family Law Week
Apr 09, 2019
Henry Hood comments on the no-fault divorce reform in The Guardian
Apr 05, 2019
Jo Carr-West comments on a £1.3m divorce award despite signing a pre-nuptial agreement in Family Law Week

© Hunters Law LLP 2019 | Privacy NoticeLegal & Regulatory | Cookies Policy | Complaints Procedure

Hunters Law LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (number 657218)