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New formula to settle divorce payouts

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13 Sep 12 #355727 by soulruler
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It is an article that was in Tuesdays Telegraph by Martin Beckfor, home affairs editor.

As I don''t know how to post up links here it is typed up from me (mind the typos)


Divorce settlements should be worked out using a mathematical formula that divides up a couples assets bsed on income and how long they have been married, a review has suggested.

Couple could calculate how much money each would receive under the Law Commission proposals to clarify the "uncertain and inconsistant" law.

It is hoped that this would encourage couple to work out settlements between themselves, rather than going through the time-consuming and costly process of going to court. In a further attempt to lower costs and cut the legal burden, guidance could be provided online so that couples can work out their assets and their needs.

Another change being considered by the Law Commission, which recommends legal changes to the Government, would see family homes left out of divorce settlements if they were inherited or acquired before the marriage.

The consultation by the commission, which will lead to a report to ministers next year, recognises that, at present, divorcing couples cannot predict how much support they will receive, or how much they will have to pay. The situation will worsen as legal aid is removed from family cases under budget cuts, it warns.

Whereas attention often focuses on big-money divorcce cases, in many separatations there aer not enough assets or income to cover each party''s bsic needs. There is also a "postcode lottery" with judges'' generosity to husbands or wives differing in different areas.

It is not clear if judges are meant to enable the lower-earning party to keep the same living standards they had when married or give them just enough to get back on their feet again. The law in England and Wales treats a family court judge like a bus driver who has been taught low to drive and told he must drive, but has not been told where to go, nor why he is to go there, the consultation says.

Moves to reform the law follow a Supreme Court ruling last Novemver in favour of Patricia Jones, a hairdresser from Essex who fought for three years against a county court ruling that her former husband was entitled to half of the value of the house they shared nearly 20 years ago. They also follow last year''s consultation on whether to make prenuptial deals legally binding. Under the current law, if separating couples cannot agree on how to divide their assets, it is up to a judge to make orders based on each party''s needs. The Law Commission claims that there is a "lack of legal clarity" about the definition of needs. For example =, it is unclear to what extent one spouse must support the other and for how long.

One solution is to create formulaic, guidelines similar to those used in Canada, which calculate support based on the length of the relationship and the difference between spouses'' incomes, although they are not binding upon judges. For couple without children, the difference in their incmoe is multiplied by between 1.5 and 2 per cent, for each year of cohabitation, up to a maximum of 25 years. So in a childless couple where the husband earns $90,000 and his estranged wife earns $30,000, the income gap is $60,000. If they had been together for 10 years, the amount of support he must pay her would be between $9,000 and $12,000 a year.

The length of time he must pay support is between half a year and a year, for each year of cohabitation, so in this case between five and 10 years. A more complex formula is used for parents.

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13 Sep 12 #355740 by dukey
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This was given a few minutes on news night,I don''t think baroness deech did the law any favours, heyho.

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13 Sep 12 #355742 by soulruler
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Explain more as all I know about is that specific article, would be interested to understand your view on the baroness.

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13 Sep 12 #355743 by dukey
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It was Deech v a well known lawyer, the baroness was more like a spin doctor exaggerating giving extreme examples of outcomes, all in the name of saving money and the demise of legal aid, at no point was the fact mentioned that in Canada this is more of a suggestion, in other words the judge can just ignore the formula, which from what I read is more often than not.

You can watch it on the iplayer, have a drink first and prepare to be amazed, then you can do what I did and pretend the wine must have clouded the memory, sadly I checked it again the next day.

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14 Sep 12 #355769 by MrsSadness
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Phew - does movement to suggest going over my head! Is there a Smiley for that? Best one is the:woohoo: An academic debate far over my little head as someone who is taking baby steps in litigation so waayyyyy out of my league! Excuse me both for having butted in here! Just to let you know, SR and Dukey, after horrid few days, I am still around, live and kicking but lurking!!!! ( what a horrid word, but sometimes necessary in a really acrimonious case, as this will be! You two are going to be stuck with me for years, LOL LOL and triple LOL! Now, after my submission of D8 tom, all done finally and now fatalistic approach - up to DJ. What a relief just to even get D8 in.....


Now back to your rather private post that I have interloped.. sincere apologies. LOL - Sorry to have - think the expression is - ''to highjack'' what was serious post...

In meantime, just to let you know. three months ago I was a useless wreck of a woman, but thanks to this wonderful site and in particular you two and spending hours of research, I am now not only a lot better, but now up for the fight.... Oh I know, collabrative law, mediation.... but at the end of the day, sometimes a case can not, even post FCR 2010, and the necessity for a MIAM, will just have to rely on the DJ and that justice will be done, and SR, still have my faith in it, ( well, just about!) LOL.

Let''s just hope the DJ who reads my D8 didn''t get up in a bad mood! LOL


Sorry again for inteloping.... I do not know how to do cut and pastes on here, well, I do, not THAT much of a PC doughnut, just this PC is giving up the ghost, so old!

OK, back to the academic debate... Baroness Who? LOL! Forgive me, am in flippant mood and also very happy one tonight for once! Big hugs, both of you. Sorry again- for interloping.... butting in, otherwise.......

Me xx

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14 Sep 12 #355790 by soulruler
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Mrs Sadness,

I do think that Dukey must be an academic and I know that you are. I have one E grade A level so I don''t qualify - especially according to my Mum who is an academic and an ex teacher (so she knows best;) ) - my "problem" as I was told at school and many times after is that I do not have an educated mind.:)

On that note I will try and do IPlayer but might be back to get instructions (haven''t even learnt to do links yet!).

I can type though - so that''s good news. I know it is totally irrelevent but when I first started work (it ended up to be my first and last employed work) I got promoted from the clerking pool (used to work in a chocolate factory yum yum) to Fleet Motor Management Clerk and was assigned to the continental imports manager who sat in a very posh office with all the other top managers on a floor above the general offices.

I think to intimidate me really I had to walk across his large office where he was sitting at the back in front of a large window. The carpet was all squishy and spongy and I had a feeling I would dissapear in quick sand before I reached his desk.

Anyway, first thing he did was offer me a chocolate (which turned out to be a liquer so I bit in and all the contents spilled down my front:blush:) and he then said "take this down" - what I don''t know shorthand (didn''t admit to that).

Anyhow I got the job and was expected to be able to type so that weekend I got a book on typing and learnt how to touch type.

I think touch typing is one of my greatest acheivements to date, that and managing to get divorced years ago.:)

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14 Sep 12 #355792 by MrsSadness
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Me, academic, more anaemic, these days! LOL! Thanks for the vote of confidence, SR, but I bow to you on here re your self-taught legal knowledge, ( think, ''I''m not worthy, action LOL!) so don''t put yourself or your huge achievements down!!!! And this is someone who doesn''t even know how to write an Affadavit - can''t even spell it - just as well they have renamed it a Statement of Truth! LOL

Anyway, from your breif synopsis of your early career there, it is clear to see how tenacious and intelligent you are!

So.... back to your original post, and sorry again for having interloped!!!!:laugh:

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