Monday, 14 September 2009


The Times today reported on Baroness Deech’s call for an overhaul of family law. According to the article Baroness Deech believes that divorce laws are unfair to men, whilst multi-million pound settlements are degrading to women. Strange, I can’t think of many men being ordered to make such settlements if they don’t have the means to pay them, nor why women should go to court to secure a payment, simply to feel degraded upon receipt of it. The Baroness is proposing that judicial discretion to determine what is fair in any given case should be fettered and that instead we should have what appear almost to be draconian rules as to when for instance maintenance should be paid. The trouble is that the majority of divorce cases in this country don’t involve millions of pounds and instead outcomes are based on need as well as fairness. One size doesn’t fit all and we need to look no further than the Child Support Agency for evidence in that regard.

Resolution believes that discretion is an important part of the family law system, enabling outcomes to be tailor-made for families with the emphasis always on the best interests of children. But it agrees that there is a need for the Law Commission to review current legislation in an effort to see if greater clarity and certainty can be delivered whilst the benefits of the discretionary approach are maintained.

1 comment:

Premier Divorce UK said...

I think the key point of this as you say one size doesnt fit all and so divorce settlements should also be judged on a case by case basis.