Government seeks to revamp ‘outdated’ divorce finances legislation

The government is embarking on a comprehensive overhaul of half-century-old legislation governing the division of financial assets following divorce in England and Wales.

The Law Commission, an independent body responsible for reviewing legislation, will undertake a thorough examination of the existing laws.

The objective of this review is to bring clarity to the current legal framework and propose enhancements to the legislation.

The present laws are considered outdated because they heavily rely on the financial circumstances of the parties involved and the discretionary powers of judges in individual cases.

The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 has been criticised for its ambiguity and unpredictability, often leading spouses to resort to expensive litigation due to a lack of clear guidance on the division of wealth.

Under the current law, couples who go to court can incur substantial expenses on legal fees, as most forms of family law matters are no longer eligible for legal aid. Furthermore, protracted court battles can have detrimental effects on children.

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