President calls for divorce and money to be separated

In his 17th and latest ‘View from the President’s Chambers’, his periodic update on the process of reform of the family justice system, the President of the Family Division has called for the issues of divorce and ‘money’ to be ‘de-linked’, so that they are started and pursued by completely separate processes (albeit that the timeline for financial remedies is determined by the progress of the divorce). At present financial claims are made within, or ancillary to, the divorce proceedings.

The President says that: “The need for continuing reform is clear, not least to create systems and procedures that can be easily navigated by the litigants in person who increasingly dominate the worlds of both divorce and money.” He proposes that specialist ‘Financial Remedies Courts’ be set up to deal with financial remedy claims, and that the first pilot court be rolled out as soon as sensibly possible in late 2017, or very early 2018.

Divorce is, of course, now dealt with in eleven regional divorce centres, while financial claims are still being dealt with by local courts. This means that when a financial remedies claim is made the divorce proceedings are transferred to the local court. It does therefore seem to make sense for financial claims to be dealt with separately. However, financial orders cannot usually be made until the decree nisi has been pronounced, and do not usually take effect until the divorce is finalised, and so, as the President pointed out, the local court will need to know what stage the divorce has reached.

You can read the 17th View from the President’s Chambers: Divorce and money – where are we and where are we going? here.

Image: £’s, by Petras Gagilas, licensed under CC BY 2.0.