The Family Justice Council (FJC) has published the second edition of its Guidance on Financial Needs on Divorce. The guidance provides a tool for the judiciary in relation to the making of orders to meet financial needs following divorce and the dissolution of civil partnerships.
The first edition of the guidance followed the Law Commission’s consultation on Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements, published in February 2014. The report highlighted the evidence of significant regional differences in the levels of needs-based support likely to be awarded in different courts and the lack of transparency in this area. In July 2016 the Family Justice Council published the first edition of the guidance for the courts to (i) clarify the meaning of ‘financial needs’ on divorce, with particular reference to the most commonly encountered cases in which the available assets do not exceed the parties’ needs (ie ‘needs-based’ cases); and (ii) to provide a clear statement of the objective that financial orders made to meet needs should (if possible) achieve, and to encourage consistency of approach by courts across England and Wales.
In his foreword to the Guidance the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, states:
Read the guidance in full here.
‘This Guide focuses on those cases where the available assets do not exceed the parties’ needs and provides a succinct summary of the law as explained and developed in the leading cases. It also includes a number of helpful case studies of common scenarios – feedback from the first edition suggested that colleagues found these especially helpful.
The feedback from judges, and practitioners, to the first edition of this Guide was very positive and I trust that colleagues will find the second edition as helpful as the first and will consult it as a useful reference guide. I am particularly pleased that it has been possible to revise and update this guide so that colleagues may continue to benefit from the assistance that it offers while taking account of all the significant developments in case law since the publication of the first edition. The intention is to revise and update the Guide at regular intervals and, to this end, the Working Group welcomes feedback with a view to informing future revisions.’