Baroness Deech bill passes second reading

House of Lords, family law

The private member’s bill tabled by crossbench peer Baroness Deech has passed its second reading in the House of Lords.

The Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill will now proceed to committee stage. The first reading took place in May last year.

The bill would amend ageing divorce legislation the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, specifically section 25 regarding the division of assets, in order to better reflect contemporary society the legal academic has claimed.

She said:

“Judicial discretion [the ability to individual judges to make their own decisions] has led to unpredictability and conflicting decisions, which make it hard for parties to negotiate and lead to disproportionate costs.”

She added:

The Bill … introduce as a fair starting point the equal division of all the property and pensions acquired by the couple after marriage; provision for short term maintenance; flexibility to allow the home to be retained for the carer and children; and binding prenuptial agreements.”

If it entered law, the changes would encourage uptake of mediation and reduce costs, the Baroness insisted.

Read the second hearing debate here.

Photo by Larry Johnson via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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