The Memo: Government law reform advisers set to examine financial remedy orders

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Government law reform advisers set to examine financial remedy orders

Nikolai Viedge – 11 April 2023

A year after no-fault divorces were introduced in the UK, government law reform advisers are set to look at another area of matrimonial law; namely the rules that govern the financial remedies for divorcing couples and dissolving civil partnerships. At the moment, this area of law is governed by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004, but the existing framework is facing calls for reform.

Baroness Ruth Deech, who has campaigned for years to have these laws amended, has recently found an unexpected ally, the famous divorce lawyer, Lady Fiona Shackleton. Shackleton, who is vociferous in her support of Deech’s campaign, was quick to highlight that the process is ‘woefully out of date and inadequate’ and demands reform. The Law Commission will ultimately consider whether existing law can consistently deliver fair outcomes for divorcing couples, but for those with an interest in family law, it’s an area to watch.

Matrimonial law forms essentially one half of family law proceedings, with lawyers in the space working to interview and advise clients on (among other things) the financial implications of separation. This can involve preparing the client’s case for divorce and settlement hearings, including things like organising witnesses and providing summaries of assets/finances.