Judge calls for assets split review

Solicitors could see a change in divorce law after the most senior family judge in Britain and Northern Ireland has said that the law on assets splits should be reviewed.

Sir Mark Potter, president of the Family Division and head of Family Justice, told the Times that divorce awards in Britain were not in line with the rest of Europe.

He told the newspaper that while current legislation on the division of assets was not "so confused or lacking in clarity that lawyers cannot give their clients proper advice", a number of high-profile cases have ended in dissatisfaction.

In May, Sir Mark quashed John Charman's appeal against a £48 million award to his ex-wife, Beverley, which was the largest amount ever to be granted in Britain and Northern Ireland.

Sir Mark said that judges were unable "to indulge in comparative studies as a prelude to establishing new principles in what is, essentially, a social policy field," due to a lack of resources. He said this fact "renders our matrimonial property regime ripe for review by the Law Commission".

He added that, in light of this, proposals to give prenuptial contracts statutory force should also be reviewed.

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