John Bolch

John Bolch often wonders how he ever became a family lawyer. He no longer practises, but has instead earned a reputation as one of the UK's best-known family law bloggers.

What family lawyers were talking about this week…

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August 15, 2014 0 comments

family law

The last of a series of changes to the child maintenance system was implemented on the 11th of August. Under the new system parents are encouraged to agree child maintenance between themselves, known as a ‘family-based arrangement’. Alternatively, they can use a new online banking-style self-service facility known as ‘Direct Pay’. Under this, the Child…

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The continuing pace of change

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August 14, 2014 0 comments

family law

Only last April the family justice system went through what the President of the Family Division then described as its largest reform “any of us have seen or will see in our professional lifetimes”. One would have thought therefore, just four months further on, that the profession might now be able to relax, happy in…

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Will the new child maintenance system make a difference?

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August 13, 2014 1 comment

contact

So, the last piece of the government’s plan to overhaul the child maintenance system has been put into place. On Monday the Department for Work and Pensions (‘DWP’) proudly announced that the system was now “fit for the 21st century”. But will the “radical changes” that the government has implemented really make any difference? Under…

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Important family law cases: Barder v Barder

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August 12, 2014 1 comment

family law

Orders setting out financial/property settlements on divorce are intended to be final, but what if an event were to occur shortly afterwards, but beyond the period normally allowed for an appeal, which undermined the whole basis upon which the order was made? Will the court in those circumstances be prepared to grant permission to appeal…

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Child support and the self-employed

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August 7, 2014 2 comments

self-employed, children

Child support maintenance, based as it is upon a formula, has always been relatively easy to calculate, at least where the non-resident parent (‘NRP’) is employed. Get his or her income details from their payslips or P60, input them into a calculator, and away you go. However, when the NRP is self-employed, things can be…

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Important cases: Xydhias v Xydhias

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August 6, 2014 0 comments

family law

I wrote here a couple of weeks ago about the case of Edgar v Edgar, which dealt with the issue of when a financial/property agreement reached between husband and wife was binding. But what if the agreement is incomplete? Is it still binding then? This was the issue facing the Court of Appeal in the…

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Protecting essential services

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August 5, 2014 0 comments

scissors, legal aid cuts

Sometimes it seems as if there is nothing but bad news in the field of family law. Reviewing the headlines for just the last week I have come across the following: “Legal aid cuts have left family courts ‘at breaking point’” “Court refers just 2 per cent of parties to mediation” “Domestic violence refuge provision…

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What are our surrogacy laws?

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August 4, 2014 0 comments

surrogacy

Surrogacy is back in the news, with the case of the Australian couple refusing to take a boy who was born with Down’s syndrome making headlines across the world. The case has led to calls for changes in the law on surrogacy. But just what are our surrogacy laws? Before I begin, just a quick…

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