Frances Hughes is interviewed by the Observer where she discusses a new report by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), ‘Risk, exposure and resilience to risk in Britain today’, which details how divorce and separation can be a significant financial risk to women.
The report details the rising cost of divorce: basic court fees have doubled in the past few years and many women end up going into debt to cover costs, even if they do not use a lawyer. And legal aid reforms now rule out any state help.
Frances commented that things have never looked so bad for women. “In terms of getting real access to justice, we must be back to the way things were before the second world war. The legal aid reforms have had a terrible effect on the courts, as has the reorganisation within the courts themselves.
A lot of matters involving children are now heard by lay magistrates. There aren’t enough judges and the legal aid reforms have meant the courts are just jammed with the massive rise in litigants in person, which make for very laborious, gruelling and exhausting cases for all concerned. Women are the losers in all of this. Even in mediation, women tend to do badly.”
Read the full article in the Observer here.