Family Law: Periodical payments beyond reasonable needs? Survey data

Penelope Russell, Andrew Costello


This article considers fairness within financial orders made on divorce or dissolution ('ancillary relief') in the context of the results of a survey of 2,400 respondents. It focuses on the quantification of periodical payments in cases where there is a considerable surplus of available income after meeting the parties' needs ('big money cases') and considers how that surplus income should be allocated between parties: whether it should be calculated on a reasonable needs basis or as entitlement to a share of income beyond reasonable needs. The implications for legislative reform are considered, particularly in the context of the recent review by the Law Commission of the determination of needs within ancillary relief claims.

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