The survey questioned family lawyers throughout the country and uncovered three main issues that lawyers felt were influencing the field of family law.
The first of these is the state of the economy, which is thought to have led to a decrease in the number of divorces.
“In tough economic times, when people’s budgets are tight, it is perhaps not surprising to see a fall in the divorce rate,” said Nick Andrews, Partner, Forensic and Investigation Services. “Now that there is continuing positive economic news, it will be interesting to see if the divorce rate starts to edge up again.”
The second issue is that of concealing assets during a divorce. This was highlighted during several high profile cases, such as Prest v Petrodel and the Scot and Michelle Young case.
“The key issue in detecting concealment is that you don’t know what you are looking for,” explained Chris Clements, Partner, Forensic and Investigation Services. “In a post-Prest world, concealment, particularly in corporates, will require detailed analysis of the financial records in order to confirm the true position.”
The third issue highlighted by the survey was why, despite a rise in cohabitation, there is little legal protection for cohabiting couples? Respondents apparently suggested that was partly due to the political view that marriage was the best form of relationship for promoting stable families and communities.
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