The Financial Remedies Handbook
(formerly entitled the Ancillary Relief Handbook) has established itself as a first resort for thousands of matrimonial lawyers. By combining a clear explanation of the applicable legal principles with straightforward advice on practice and procedure, this is the essential reference work for the busy family lawyer.
This new edition has been thoroughly revised and contains detailed analysis of all recent case law developments, including practical guidance as to how these developments should be applied. Key topics include:
- Transfer of Property Orders and Housing Needs
- Settlement of Property Orders and Variation of Settlements
- Avoidance of Disposition and Other Injunctions
- Insolvency and Rights of Creditors
- Appeals and Setting Aside
The Appendices contain a wide range of precedents and relevant legislative provisions.
- Introduction to ancillary relief
- Periodical payments
- Secured periodical payments
- Lump sum orders
- Transfer of property orders and housing needs
- Settlement of property orders and variation of settlements
- Orders for sale
- Avoidance of disposition and other injunctions
- Consent orders
- Insolvency and rights of creditors
- Miscellaneous applications
- Financial relief after overseas divorce
- Appeals and setting aside
- The impact of the Human Rights Act 1998
- The proceeds of Crime Act 2002
- Future developments
- A summing up
- Appendices: Precedents and Legislation
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In this edition, some of the issues that were mentioned in the last edition as being susceptible of development have indeed been developed by the courts. The weight to be placed on agreements has been considered at some length and it has become clear that Radmacher v Granatino was by no means the last word on this subject. At the same time, the definition of ‘marital’ and ‘non-marital’ assets has been scrutinised in a way that would not have been anticipated some years ago and the law relating to inherited or pre-acquired wealth is constantly being modified. These are all issues that will not go away and add to the pressure for some radical reconsideration, perhaps even codification, of the law relating to financial relief.
These issues normally assume importance only where the parties enjoy considerable wealth. However, it should not be forgotten that the majority of cases dealt with by district judges up and down the country involve comparatively modest assets, and the now complete abolition of legal aid for such cases has created new problems. Parties of average income cannot afford the fees that solicitors have to charge but are at a loss when any non-standard issue arises in their case. District judges are forced to improvise to ensure that justice is done but there are limits on how far a judge can go to help parties in a system of rules devised for adversarial litigation. This inevitably leads to inconsistency between courts and injustice for some parties.
The time has surely come for the amendment of the rules to provide for something like a small claims track for financial relief cases. This would empower, and indeed require, district judges at the First Directions Appointment to adopt an inquisitorial approach and to identify issues that might be important, but which the parties had not identified. Orders could then be made to produce the evidence required. This would be a rule change that would have to be carefully drafted but there is no doubt that it is possible and indeed necessary.
As with the last edition, I am very grateful to District Judge Andy King for his contributions to this book.
The law given is as at the date below.
24 June 2013
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