The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has called for a “complete de-linking” of divorce and financial claims within the court process.

This would mean that they would be dealt with as entirely separately processes, albeit you would still be unable to issue financial remedy proceedings until after divorce proceedings have been issued.

Sir Munby outlined his reasoning as follows:-

  1. Only a small number of divorces give rise to financial claims;
  2. Divorce itself is a largely administrative process and judicial involvement has always been limited. By contrast, judicial involvement in financial remedy proceedings is significant;
  3. Divorce cases are now being dealt with by centralised regional divorce courts;
  4. Financial remedy proceedings are not the only financial proceedings dealt with by the family courts. There can be claims on overseas divorces under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984, claims under Schedule 1 Children Act 1989, claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and claims under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.

The proposed “de-linking” would pave the way for a slicker process in respect of both divorce and financial remedy proceedings and would assist the move to the planned online divorce process.

Such changes would not require primary legislation, only changes to the Family Procedure Rules and the Practice Directions. Sir Munby outlined that continuing reform is clearly needed to allow for procedures “that can be easily navigated by the litigants in person who increasingly dominate the worlds of both divorce and money”. However, such changes would likely assist those with legal representation as simplifying procedures would undoubtedly lower the average legal bill associated with divorce and financial remedy proceedings.

If you require advice and assistance regarding divorce, financial remedy proceedings or any other family law matter, you can contact one of our specialist family law solicitors on 0161 941 4000 or email at lawyers@myerson.co.uk.

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