§ Mr. Hill
asked the Attorney-General what progress has been made towards reform of the divorce laws since the publication in October 1980 of the Law Commission's discussion paper "The Financial Consequences of Divorce: The Basic Policy" to ensure greater equity between the partners in the making of settlements by taking into account (a) the earning capacity of ex-spouses, (b) the duration of the marriage, (c) remarriages or other liaisons of either or both partners, and (d) claims on the estate of a partner following his death.
The Law Commission has received a substantial number of comments on its discussion paper on the financial consequences of divorce. It intends to analyse these comments and to submit the results of its analysis to the Lord Chancellor. When considering what order to make for financial provision following divorce, the courts are already required by section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 to have regard to all the circumstances of each case, including the earning capacity and financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, and the duration of the marriage. There is no reason to believe that the courts do not follow the prescription of section 25 by giving full weight to all relevant considerations in individual cases, which vary indefinitely. On the re-marriage of a divorced wife her right to maintenance payments from a former husband comes to an end.