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B876 - Divorce Bill 2015 watch

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    B876 - Divorce Bill 2015, TSR Conservative and Unionist Party
    A

    B I L L

    TO


    Correct inequalities within current UK divorce proceedings and strengthen the institution of marriage.


    BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—


    1 Limit on appeal
    (1) Both parties involved have a period of only 6 years in which to appeal against the settlement either agreed or granted through the courts.
    (2) Retrospective settlement claims are hereby prohibited.

    2 Prenuptial agreements
    (1) Prenuptial agreements agreed to by both parties before marriage are to be viewed by the courts as legally binding.
    (2) An exception to the above will only be granted if said prenuptial agreement makes no provision for children accrued from this marriage or leaves one party with assets to the value of £0.
    (3) Where prenuptial agreements have been made concerning the distribution of wealth upon divorce, the court should rule on the basis of that agreement, ignoring the fault provisions outlined in section 3.

    3 Fault
    (1) In cases where adulatory has been committed by one party, financial settlements for the offending party will be reduced by a minimum of 10% to reflect the assigned fault.
    (2) In cases where both parties have committed adulatory, fault does not apply.
    (3) If the divorce is the result of an abusive relationship, the court may reduce settlements for the offending party at its discretion to reflect the assigned fault.

    4 Maintenance
    (1) Upon divorce and excepting legally binding agreements already made, neither party is to be granted a maintenance order relating to their own standard of living.
    (2) Maintenance orders will only be granted with regards to the upkeep of children accrued from that marriage.

    5 Fees
    (1) Each local authority is hereby given the power to set their own charge for processing a divorce with the aim of covering all costs to the state and court system.
    (2) Divorce must be registered in the local authority with which the marriage occurred.

    6 Commencement, extent and short title
    (1) This Act may be cited as the Divorce Act 2015.
    (2) This Act extends to England only.
    (3) This Act comes into force on 1 January 2016 following Royal assent.

    Notes
    Spoiler:
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    Limit on appeal
    Current UK law allows parties to make financial claims long after the divorce has occurred (as highlighted in this article). This provision allows for a clearly defined period in which to retrospectively claim or appeal.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england...shire-31832392

    Prenuptial agreements
    Current UK law does not hold that prenuptial agreements are legally binding reducing the potential security they can provide in the UK. The provision in this act acknowledges that individuals should be able to enter a contractual agreement before marriage spelling out the risks and rewards for both parties and therefore makes these agreements legally binding except in cases where they are clearly being abused.

    Fault
    Current UK law only takes fault into account when considering financial settlements in exceptional circumstances. This provision ensures that settlements in which one party is clearly at fault reflect this assigned fault.

    Maintenance
    Current UK law enables one party to claim for costs relating to the maintenance of their accustomed standard of living even after the divorce has accrued (this is known as alimony in the US) through maintenance orders. This act removes this unfair penalisation and clearly defines that the financial responsibility post-divorce extends only to the children and not to either party.

    Fees
    Current divorce charges are set annually by central government (£410 for 2015). This provision allows local authorities to set their own charge and also requires that divorce be filed in the local authority in which the two parties were married.
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    Aye I suppose. Don't really care tbh. :dontknow:

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    "Strengthen the institution of marriage". I didn't exactly have the greatest impression of the bill from the summary, but actually it's not bad at all. Probably aye, but I'm going to listen to the debate first, if indeed there is any.
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    It's an Aye from me
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    Aye

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    5(2) is rediculous.

    I'm also worried about the wording for children born outside of marriage to parents who later go on to get married.

    Lastly what is the rationale behind stopping maintenance?
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    Aye, I would like to see fathers given more legal status about the housing of their children after divorce to correct the imbalance of children usually ending up with their mothers, but I will support this bill.
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    Leaning towards nay. I'm not sure of the merits of using court time to try and prove that someone's committed adulatory when it isn't a criminal offence.
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    (Original post by Aph)
    5(2) is rediculous.

    I'm also worried about the wording for children born outside of marriage to parents who later go on to get married.

    Lastly what is the rationale behind stopping maintenance?
    Why should a higher earning spouse have to continue to subsidise the life of someone they're no longer involved with?
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    For once, I agree with Aph; I don't see the pointof 5 (2), although I would extend it to the whole section, it strikes me as pointless bureaucracy

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    (Original post by Wellzi)
    Why should a higher earning spouse have to continue to subsidise the life of someone they're no longer involved with?
    It depends on the situation though. Sometimes you can get the higher earning spouse almost forbid the other one from working or getting a promotion so they should support them for a limited time until they get back on their feat.
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    Mostly a decent bill, I disagree with section 5 though. Firstly I can't see the reasoning behind not having a uniform divorce charge nationwide. This could lead to some councils setting extortionate fees if they are in financial difficulties (knowing full well that due to 5.2, divorcees would have no choice but to pay the fee). 5.2 on the face of it is simply ridiculous, marriages can last 20 or 30 years before breaking down... they could be living on the other side of the country by this point! I can only assume the reasoning behind this is to stop people from just choosing to go to the local authority with the cheapest charge, so it is only needed because of the unnecessary 5.1.

    I also echo Saoirse:3's concern about trying to prove or disprove adultery in court. What are you going to do, force the other half of the alleged affair to appear in court as a 'witness'? This isn't the Jeremy Kyle Show.
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    (Original post by Aph)
    It depends on the situation though. Sometimes you can get the higher earning spouse almost forbid the other one from working or getting a promotion so they should support them for a limited time until they get back on their feat.
    Hmm a fair point, but surely in such a situation the lower earning divorcee is already receiving a lump sum settlement far in excess of their financial contribution to the marriage, so would be a fair compromise?
 
 
 
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