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At long last the Family Justice Council has published its Guidance on ‘Financial Needs’ on Divorce, described by President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, in his foreword as ‘…intended as a useful tool for the judiciary in relation to the making of orders to meet financial needs following divorce and the dissolution of civil partnerships’, but surely also as useful guidance for practitioners when advising clients on this difficult discretionary area of family law. But will difference will it make?
The guidance focuses on those cases where the available assets do not exceed the parties’ needs, and provides a summary of the law as explained and developed in leading cases. It also includes a number of helpful case studies of common scenarios.
The origins of the guidance are in the Law Commission’s 2014 report, Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements, which highlighted concerns regarding evidence of significant regional differences in the levels of needs-based support likely to be awarded in different courts, and a
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Geraldine is Head of LexisPSL Family. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1992 and was in practice for 15 years, most recently as a partner and head of the family team at Hart Brown, a large Surrey firm.
Geraldine writes for Butterworths Family Law Service and is a past editor of the Resolution Review. She has been published in the New Law Journal, the Law Society Gazette and the District Judges’ Bulletin as well as in the national press including the Times and the Telegraph.
When in practice she was a member of the Law Society Family and Children Panels, and an accredited Resolution Specialist with a focus on advanced financial provision and pensions. A past Resolution regional secretary and press officer, Geraldine also contributed chapters to the Resolution publications, International Aspects of Family Law (3rd Edition 2009) and The Modern Family (2012).
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