Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill [HL] - Second Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:59 pm on 11th May 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia Conservative 1:59 pm, 11th May 2018

I need to repeat the difficulties presented by that document when the judges applying it do not agree. When you are advising somebody and want somebody to mediate an agreement, or when you are faced with a client who comes into your office and says, “What should I settle at?”—it does not matter if you are dealing with a pro bono person or somebody who can afford many times most people’s annual income—if the adviser cannot predict the outcome because judges apply the same rules differently, we are in big trouble and a settlement cannot be agreed. Therefore, there is a delay; therefore, there is uncertainty; therefore, people get upset and, therefore, children become involved or get disaffected. Most people can deal with things when they know what it is; they cannot deal with uncertainty and delay. The cost of finding out the solution from the document that has been produced is not working.