Family Justice Council Guidance in financial remedy proceedings

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Despite the statutory provisions of section 25 MCA 1973 concerns have been raised about the interpretation of needs within financial remedy proceedings. Such concern is highlighted in the 2014 Law Commission report on Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements.


The background to the report is that in 2009 the Law Commission commenced a project to examine the status and enforceability of marital property agreements.  In January 2011 it opened its consultation, reviewing the current law of marital property agreements and discussing options for reform.


The project was extended in 2012 to cover two further issues of financial provision arising on divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership, namely a targeted review of two aspects of financial provision on divorce and the dissolution of a civil partnership: financial needs and non-matrimonial property.  The project’s aim was to bring clarity and predictability.


Following on from the Law Commission’s report there have been two recent guidance documents released by the Family Justice Council, namely:


  1. Sorting out Finances on Divorce dated April 2016 (aimed at litigants in person) and
  2. Guidance on “Financial Needs” on Divorce dated July 2016 (for the judiciary and legal profession).


Both documents provide accessible and clear examples that make them essential reading for all financial remedy practitioners, providing a helpful refresher on key provisions and cases.