The Law Commission’s recent report has suggested that a ‘divorce calculator’ should be introduced to help divorcing couples make sense of their finances.
The Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements Report, which was released on Thursday, suggested that the government should consider adopting a system similar to the one used in Canada, where a numerical formula is available to help divorcing couples calculate how they should divide their assets.
Ministers are reportedly supportive of any moves to make the divorce process quicker, cheaper and less acrimonious for parties involved. The report suggested that the divorce calculator should be available to the public online and that parties would be able to enter information regarding their familial and economic circumstances to receive an estimate of a divorce settlement.
In the body of the report the law Commission explained how a divorce calculator might help divorcing couples to take control of their finances.
“For individuals without access to legal advice who need to know whether, for example, one should be supporting the other for five years or ten years, or whether the proceeds of sale of their house should be split 50/50 or 40/60, guidance in the form of figures as well as words could be invaluable,” the report says.
“A formula would have to take into account, among other factors, the age of the parties and the length of their relationship, the age of their children and the length of time for which the joint responsibilities of the relationship (in particular the care of the children) were going to continue and to impact on the ability of either or both parties to support themselves.
“These are all factors that a judge will take into account in making orders at present, and are all factors incorporated into the calculations that have been developed in some jurisdictions.”