The Law Commission has recently announced that, at the request of the Ministry of Justice, it is to undertake a targeted review of two aspects of the law that entitles married couples and civil partners to claim financial provision from one another on divorce or dissolution of their partnership.
The Commission will examine the extent to which one party should be required to meet the other's needs after the relationship has ended. It will also consider how what is known as “non-matrimonial property” (acquired by either party prior to the marriage or civil partnership, or received by gift or inheritance) should be treated on divorce or dissolution.
Professor Elizabeth Cooke, the Law Commissioner with responsibility for family law, said:
“We are delighted that the Ministry of Justice has asked us to undertake this very important review. When two people bring their marriage or civil partnership to an end it is vital that the law assists them to resolve their financial arrangements as quickly and fairly as possible. The current law creates too much potential for uncertainty and for inconsistent outcomes. In particular, the extent to which one party should be required to meet the other's financial needs is far from clear. Likewise, there is uncertainty over the treatment of property brought into the relationship or inherited by one of the parties.”