Kiteleys Solicitors

Kiteleys Solicitors. 7 St. Stephen's Court, 15-17 St. Stephen's Road, Bournemouth, Dorset. BH2 6LA. Telephone 01202 299992.
Kiteleys Solicitors is the trading style of Kiteleys Solicitors Limited registered in England and Wales, registered number 03113721. VAT Registration No: 658 8813 79.
This firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. A list of directors is available for inspection at our registered office.

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An eye on the law

At Kiteleys we are a team of experienced solicitors, all very enthusiastic about our own specialist areas of the law.

We use this area to share both our own and national news items which we think you might find interesting.

Please feel free to browse and comment on anything that takes your interest.

19th May 2017

What is in store for family law in 2017?

The top Family Court Judge, Sir James Munby, has recently published his agenda for changes required to help families resolve their problems in the best possible way, and he thinks key steps should be taken quickly with some changes in place by early 2018. A firm supporter of progress towards digital systems in the courts, he has set out his vision which includes a greater effort to introduce a new project he coined “on-line divorce”. Sir James’ other ideas include:

  • The divorce process and money matters should be “de-linked” as quickly as possible.
  • Changing the rules so that financial and property issues not directly linked with a divorce can also be dealt with in the Family Court.
  • The change to a “no fault” divorce system.

Online Divorce

Type in “online divorce” on the internet and a range of results pop-up; one site even offers a divorce “from £38” However this is incorrect as court fee itself is £550!

What Sir James actually has in mind is how the administrative process for divorce can be streamlined. Whilst the complexities of the divorce law remain the same and have not really changed since the early 1970’s,an online divorce system could enable specialist family lawyers to help their clients to proceed with the divorce process more quickly.

However, greater funding for more court staff to process the online divorce documents is another requirement in order to solve the current backlog of several weeks at the Family Court offices.

De-linking of money matters

Improving the divorce process itself will not help divorcing couples resolve their financial issues, especially when the couple needs a Family Court Judge to make an important decision.

However, “de-linking” the financial issues from the divorce process could speed up the processes and save people time and money. Sir James believes that changes to the Family Procedure Rules should be in place by the end of 2017, with the first pilot of Financial Remedies Courts by early 2018.

Other financial and property issues

Many of the legal rules which deal with money and property issues between couple who are not married/divorcing, cannot currently be dealt with in the Family Court, despite being based on a family relationship. Sir James identifies that only small but crucial changes are required to existing laws, to further streamline these legal processes for the benefit of all concerned. However, he describes previous government’s willingness to embrace these changes as “unfathomable”. Therefore, change is not expected any time soon.

The need for “no fault” divorce

This has been addressed in previous Kiteleys news articles, especially concerning the high profile divorce of Mr & Mrs Owens. Sir James identifies that to deal with this problem, further changes of the law are required. However, with all that is going on in the political world, this change does not appear imminent.

If you wish to discuss any family problem, telephone our specialist family law solicitor, Colin Mitchell for an initial free telephone assessment: 01202 875646

Posted by Mark Kiteley.

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Kiteleys Solicitors. 7 St. Stephen's Court, 15-17 St. Stephen's Road, Bournemouth, Dorset. BH2 6LA. Telephone 01202 299992.
Kiteleys Solicitors is the trading style of Kiteleys Solicitors Limited registered in England and Wales, registered number 03113721. VAT Registration No: 658 8813 79.
This firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. A list of directors is available for inspection at our registered office.