Family Court Practice, The
Order the 2021 edition due out in May
Court of Protection Practice 2021
'Court of Protection Practice goes from strength to strength, having...
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative specialist text...
Latest articles
Re R (Children) (Control of Court Documents) [2021] EWCA Civ 162
(Court of Appeal (Civil Division), King, Peter Jackson, Elisabeth Laing LJJ, 12 February 2021)Practice and Procedure – Disclosure of court documents – Sexual abuse findings –...
AG v VD [2021] EWFC 9
(Family Court, Cohen J, 04 February 2021) Financial Remedies – Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984, Part III – Russian divorceThe wife was awarded just under £6m...
Become the new General Editor of The Family Court Practice, the definitive word on family law and procedure
The Family Court Practice (‘The Red Book’) is widely acknowledged as the leading court reference work for all family practitioners and the judiciary. We are currently recruiting a...
SCTS releases new simplified divorce and dissolution forms for Scotland
The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) has released new simplified divorce and dissolution forms of application. As a result of legislation repealing Council Regulation EC 2201/2003, the...
Welsh Government launches consultation on amendments to adoption regulations
The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on the proposed amendments to the Adoption Agencies (Wales) Regulations 2005 and the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (Wales) Regulations 2015....
View all articles

Judicially approved voyeurism

Sep 29, 2018, 22:03 PM
family law, divorce, litigants in person, transparency, reforms
Once upon a time, we were able to say to our clients - with a degree of confidence - that their laundry, dirty or otherwise, would be' safe with us.
Slug : judicially-approved-voyeurism
Meta Title : Judicially approved voyeurism
Meta Keywords : family law, divorce, litigants in person, transparency, reforms
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : No
Prioritise In Trending Articles : No
Date : Aug 20, 2014, 08:38 AM
Article ID : 106805
Once upon a time, we were able to say to our clients - with a degree of confidence - that their laundry, dirty or otherwise, would be safe with us.

We listed the exceptions of course. We explained that, in the highly unlikely event that they ended up with a defended divorce, they would be going through some pretty awful stuff in front of their husband or wife, the judge, their respective legal teams, and members of the press if it was a quiet news day. And if they happened to be Cheryl, or Simon or Rebekah, then even if it wasn't.

We said that the divorce petition itself might be open to scrutiny if they happened to be famous, or at least notorious, and Glen Mulcaire, or similar, had shown the presence of mind to bribe a badly paid court official. (Sometimes you don't even have to pay. I once went to the court office at the Registry to ask for some information and the person behind the counter wrote it down on a scrap of paper. On the back was part of the Duke and Duchess of York' s divorce petition.) 

Then there were injunctions. If our client hit their wife, we might say that there was a chance the subsequent proceedings to make them, or stop them, from doing something - or to send them to prison because they'd refused to take any notice of the Judge's stern words - could be heard in front of a reporter from the Daily Mail or, more likely, the Surrey Advertiser.

But that was about it. How much they were worth, or how much their husband hated them, would be canvassed in front of a pretty select audience.

No more. I think it all started when journalists began opining forcefully that the judges didn't know what they were doing. Why had this innocent woman been dragged back from
Why should the rest of us know what your clients earn? This is a court procedure and, contrary to what Chris Grayling appears to believe, it is not voluntary and it has nothing to do with criminality. It does involve giving evidence in court, but it's evidence that's both personal and often very poignant.

The only way families can guarantee that they keep their private affairs out of the public domain these days is not to get divorced, not to bother with the court process at all or to settle their cases before getting to the stage of a hearing in open court whether by negotiation or mediation.

The government's obsession with mediation is predicated on the idea that everyone's reasonable and fair if left to their own devices without interference from self serving lawyers. If only. Contrary to the media's perception, the greedy conspiring lawyers are responsible for a tiny number of these cases.

We all know that the financial cases that go to trial fall into one of the following categories:

  1. One or both sides is acting in person.
  2. One or both sides is represented by one of those lawyers (you know who you are) whose business model relies on discouraging settlement to increase revenue.
  3. There's so much money involved, together with a genuine point of law or method of valuation to be resolved, that it does make commercial sense to spend a small percentage on legal costs.
  4. One or both parties are so blinded by rage, or blind to reason, or both, that they cannot be helped to help themselves.
Keeping away from court, when they have neither the tools nor the inclination to settle, leaves families vulnerable. Either the ex wife or husband can make financial claims many years down the line, or people are left with no financial support at all because their ex partner simply refuses to offer anything unless compelled to do so.

So the reality is that the only way our clients can avoid disinterested nosey people from knowing what money they have, what they spend it on, and what they think of their husband and wife, is if they decide not to avail themselves of the justice system at all. And that isn't justice.

The views expressed by contributing authors are not necessarily those of Family Law or Jordan Publishing and should not be considered as legal advice.
Categories :
  • Articles
Tags :
Provider :
Product Bucket :
Recommend These Products
Load more comments
Comment by from