Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Law Commission to review enforcement of financial orders

The Law Commission has announced that it will be reviewing financial provision on divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership. Don't get too excited though, as it will only be looking at enforcement of orders, not the basis for claims (although enforcement could certainly do with simplification).

In its Eleventh Programme of Law Reform the Commission says:
"The current law has been described [by the Family Law Bar Association] as “hopelessly complex and procedurally tortuous”. The available enforcement mechanisms are contained in a wide range of legislation. Members of the public, legal practitioners and at times even the courts have difficulty understanding their interaction, and the current law prevents some sensible arrangements being put in place."

It goes on:
"The aim of the project would be to offer a clear set of rules and the opportunity to access the full range of enforcement options in the same court and without the need for multiple hearings. It is important that the court has the ability to consider enforcement against a wide range of assets and that the enforcement regime works effectively when small amounts are owed, so that parties are not forced to wait until large arrears are due before enforcing orders in their favour."

The Commission will commence work on this project once it has completed its work on Marital Property Agreements, and aims to publish a consultation paper 12 months thereafter.

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