Judith Crisp, District Judge
Professor Rosemary Hunter, Kent Law School, University of Kent
Whilst it is common to consider domestic abuse in proceedings concerning children, little thought is given to domestic abuse within financial remedy proceedings. Domestic abuse tends to disregarded in such proceedings as it rarely meets the high level required to constitute “conduct” under s.25(2)(g) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. However there are a number of other ways in which issues of domestic abuse – including financial abuse – may be relevant in financial remedy proceedings. This article discusses the available research evidence on the incidence of domestic abuse in financial cases, the use of financial proceedings as a form of abuse, and outcomes of financial proceedings for victims of abuse. It then considers issues that may arise for judges in financial proceedings, including the identification of domestic abuse, its impact on a party’s participation in proceedings and the application of Practice Direction 3AA, its impact on the conduct of a financial dispute resolution appointment and final hearing, and its potential impact on the substantive orders the judge may make – whether by consent or following a contested hearing.
The full article will be published in the December issue of Family Law.