Divorce can be a difficult and emotional time and the procedure for financial settlement has been criticised for exacerbating conflicts and prolonging the process.
The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 has seen criticism for many years for the lack of clarity on wealth division when a couple is divorcing.
Currently, financial settlements are concluded by application of various statutory provisions and case law, which can be seen as being too complicated, unclear and in some cases contradictory.
Prenuptial agreements are becoming more common place and are gaining greater recognition in the Courts, however, at present they are still not legally binding in England and Wales and the Courts can depart from the terms of a Pre Nuptial Agreement when determining financial claims upon divorce.
It is thought that these agreements should be formalised and set into the law to allow for an easier process.
There have been other complaints about the current system, suggesting that judges can assess each case differently and create different awards at their discretion. There is a perception that regional practices differ also, meaning that Courts in some parts of the country approach financial settlements differently to others.
There are also arguments of the current legislation not reflecting changing times, as women are more financially independent than 50 years ago when the Act came into effect and can often earn a similar amount to their partner spouse.
Reviewing the system could mean updating it to make the outcomes more certain and clear with less confusion over what to expect.
This would allow divorcing couples to be given an idea of what to expect in their case rather than relying on the judge’s decision.
For more advice on how this could affect you, get in touch.