I found this very interesting. My thoughts
There should be standardisation in relation to financial settlement/pensions etc rather than it being dependant on the whim of a judge
I think the ''injured'' party if there is one, is in this situation through no choice of their own and as such the person who left (usually it seems for another man/woman)relinquishes a proportion of their financial share of the pot ensuring the one left behind is not made to suffer financially as well as emotionally
Lawyers fees fixed so that they cannot benefit from others misery
I think that the matrimonial factors are pretty fair and don''t see why in a short marriage that a party should exit with anything other than they put in (or didn''t), I also think it is sometimes necessary to go to court especially if one party refuses to negotiate or be honest about disclosures.
You can attempt to negotiate until you are blue in the face but mediation is not the way forward and just costs in terms of time,emotions and finances if either one or both parties refuse to be sensible and co-operate.
There is also the added problem that courts are under increasing pressure and subject to financial cuts and also that neither mediators or court judges can do anything about the larger issues of debt and problems regarding housing that the general population now faces.
I think that family lawyers should be more aware of all law as it is one of the legal disiplines that is going to face so many areas of law including company law, trust law, family law, harrassment, non molestation, domestic violence, fiduciary obligations and human rights.
I said to a friend recently that I was pleased that my husband and I had never bought a boat together otherwize I might be in the situation where I was forced to study marine law (I was joking of course).
The person responsible for paying the majority of the household bills should get a MINIMUM 50% share of the equity unless the divorce was on the grounds of abuse and/or adultery. That party should also determine whether or not to sell the house, it should not be the court''s decision, they did not pay the mortgage. In the event a sale will compromise the chances of the other party finding adequate housing, the wealthier party should contribute towards monthly living expenses.
Bear with me, I haven''t read all 4 pages because as soon as I saw this post there was a little voice in my head screaming CAFCASS! Perhaps someone else has mentioned this already.
16 weeks waiting for a Cafcass report is too long. It essentially allows a fait accompli ''win'' in cases of disputed residence because the child will be well established in the new home by the time any report is done. Makes possession 9/10 of the law when it comes to children. If you take the child from the home when you move, so long as you make appropriate provision in the 4 - 6 months before Cafcass weigh in, you are virtually guaranteed residence.
Provision for non-resident parents after the separation to include equal share of the child benefit. State benefits don''t consider that you need a bedroom for a child to have overnight contact, and tax credits won''t help pay towards child care unless you get the child benefit for them. If care is split on a 50/50 basis, both parents should receive a share of the child benefit, and both parents should be considered parents from a benefits point of view.
A reform of the CSA to include a legal obligation to inform them of a change in circumstances. Additionally, maintenance payments to more accurately reflect the amount of time the NRP has the child for. I.e. if you have 50/50 shared care of the child, neither party should be required to pay maintenance to the other. I might be wrong on this, but I believe that this is not currently the case.