Financial settlement during divorce set to be reviewed

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.

Typically, in England finances are split equally between both parties even if one is the clear breadwinner but divorcing couples can spend thousands on legal fees to sort the financial side of the divorce out.

Prenuptial agreements are recognised in the courts since the 2010 landmark German Heiress case involving Katrin Radmacher but 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 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.

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.

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