13 September 2012 by

Divorce laws lambasted as “incomplete and uninformative”

The Law Commission has launched a further Consultation Paper ‘Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements’ as part of its project examining a number of different aspects of the law relating to the financial consequences of divorce and the dissolution of civil partnership.

The paper criticises divorce laws in England and Wales describing them as “incomplete and uninformative’, giving no guidance to judges on what they should be trying to achieve and no guidance to couples looking to make their own arrangements. Launching the consultation, Law Commissioner Professor Elizabeth Cooke said “When two people bring their marriage or civil partnership to an end it is vital that the law is able to help them resolve their financial arrangements as quickly and fairly as possible. The current law creates too much potential for uncertainty and inconsistency.”

The consultation will look at two specific areas: (1) to what extent one spouse should be required to meet the other’s financial needs; and what exactly is meant by needs; and (2) what happens to property that one of the partners owned before the relationship or acquired during the course of it.

The consultation will be open for three months and the Commission is expected to publish its recommendations for reform next autumn. The most divisive of which is likely to be the suggestion that “joint live spousal maintenance” orders – where a wealthier spouse is ordered to support the other until their ex re-marries or dies – be scaled back.


10 August 2012 by

EU rules to ease cross border successions, Brussels IV

There are a growing number of people in the UK with assets abroad and whether it’s a holiday cottage in France or a villa in Greece the logistics of cross border tax planning can be tricky; similarly dealing with the foreign assets on death can be equally problematic for the Personal Representatives of the estate.

17 August 2012 by Yezdan Izzet

To fund, or not to fund, in commercial litigation…

Embarking on any litigation carries risk and can be a long and costly process for the parties and more often than not, it is not always clear at the outset whether or not there are high prospects in succeeding on a claim.

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