Examination of Witnesses

Part of Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:28 am on 2nd July 2019.

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David Hodson:

It is totally unaffected by that particular provision. Domestic violence and children proceedings are under another piece of statute. They would often be dealt with by a different judge on another occasion. None of the financial elements would actually overflow into those two, so there is absolutely no prejudice whatever.

In terms of the timetable for the three months, a person might want to bring an application for interim financial provision. One reason why we have so many fault-based divorces in this country is that, in some instances, people need financial help and they can get it under our law only against what we used to call ancillary relief. Some countries have free-standing provision—I think Sir James Munby is coming, and it would be interesting to ask him. I think he supports free-standing financial provision—so you do not need a divorce. Many people apply for a divorce as a route to applying for financial provision. They would not be prejudiced in any way by having this litigation-free zone. They could apply straight away, which must be right.