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HomeNewsThe government could revise the divorce laws of 50 years ago

The government could revise the divorce laws of 50 years ago


The government could revise 50-year-old divorce laws so separating spouses can avoid spending large sums on lawyers struggling over finances.

Divorce laws dating back 50 years could be revised to make it easier for spouses to separate and avoid spending large sums on lawyers.

The Government will review the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, which determines how financial assets are divided after divorce in England and Wales.

Critics say the legislation is uncertain and unpredictable, as it has been developed by case law, allowing judges to use their discretion to assess each case and hand down different sentences.

Therefore, spouses are often forced to finance costly legal battles due to the lack of clear guidance on how wealth should be divided.

Justice Minister Lord Bellamy plans to ask the Law Commission, the independent agency that reviews legislation, to examine whether the law needs to be updated.

The Government will review the Law of Matrimonial Causes of 1973

It said: “The Government believes that the Law Commission is best placed to investigate all these matters, establish what is the existing law and practice and where the problems lie, and carry out comparative studies of a number of other jurisdictions, including Australia and elsewhere.” .

The English legal system tends to split the combined wealth of divorcing spouses equally, even if one spouse is the breadwinner, unlike in many other European countries.

Some lawyers argue that the law does not reflect the way British society has changed in the last 50 years: women are more financially independent and money-earning couples are becoming the norm.

Prenuptial agreements that have been recognized since 2010 following a Supreme Court case involving German paper industry heiress Katrin Radmacher should also have a more formal basis and be enshrined in law, experts say.

Jo Edwards, chair of Resolution’s family law reform group, which represents family justice professionals, told the Financial Times: “There are certainly areas that need more clarity, such as spousal support payments, whether should any be paid and, if so, how much and how much”. for how long.’

Baroness Fiona Shackleton, a colleague and prominent divorce lawyer who has represented clients including King Charles, Princess Haya and Paul McCartney, told the House of Lords this month: “Divorce practitioners like myself make a fortune arguing because the guidelines are 50 years later.” of the date.’

Baroness Ruth Deech, a member of the House of Lords calling for reform of the 1973 legislation, said: “There is no doubt that the current state of law is unacceptable.”

He also noted that many lower-income spouses now have to represent themselves in court, as legal aid has been removed from most family law cases.

She told the House of Lords this month that the current law is “50 years behind almost every other country in the Western world, including Australia.”

The Justice Ministry declined to comment further.

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