Did you know – the way the Courts deal with financial matters on divorce is changing?
For many years now, the Courts have had specialist Judges that deal with complex children matters. By contrast, financial matters on Divorce, which can involve very complex legal and financial issues have simply been allocated to the first Judge that was available.
It has now been recognised that a Judge with specialist knowledge and experience in dealing with such matters could make a difference and help parties reach a fair resolution more quickly and cost effectively, therefore reducing the stress for the Parties involved.
The Court Service has launched a £1 billion programme of Court reform, which will include new technology and working practices to make our Justice system more effective in the area of Financial Remedy (the name for proceedings dealing with finances when the parties have been married) .
Applications for Financial Remedy can now be submitted online. Solicitors will complete a questionnaire highlighting the issues at an early stage. The Application will then be placed before a designated Judge with specialist knowledge of this area who will determine the issues and the best level of Court to deal with each individual case. This is called ‘gatekeeping’.
The ‘gatekeeping’ judge will then be allocate the matter to a specific Judge at the local Court who will deal with it. This is intended to give judicial continuity. The Judge will become familiar with the issues and be able to give directions to help the Parties achieve the best possible outcome. Sometimes these cases involve many complex assets and issues, which take time for a Judge to read all of the documents. Also, different Judges can have different opinions on certain matters at different hearings.
This is expected to help the handling of these cases and to ensure that the specialist Judges are allocated the correct amount of time to deal with these cases. The rationale for this is that, with the right Judicial Guidance, more cases can be handled with less stress to the parties and more cost effectively.
This is a very exciting and optimistic time and it is hoped that there will be great progress made for the better to help families during one of the most stressful situations that a person can find themselves in.
At Hewitts we very much understand the stress and uncertainly that comes with a relationship breakdown. It is crucially important informed decisions are made, which affecting the future of the parties and their children. If you would like to discuss any issues relating to the breakdown of a relationship, please go ahead and book your from initial telephone consultations with one of our specialist Divorce or Finance solicitors.