Behaviour and the limits of court power

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September 4, 2017 7 comments

family life

I wanted to expand upon something that I have mentioned in a couple of posts here recently, something with which some have taken exception. I have said that the courts can’t force parties to behave in a reasonable fashion. This is something that relates to all types of family proceedings, but is I think particularly…

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Does Gingerbread have a monopoly on the argument?

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June 30, 2017 26 comments

finances and divorce

In an article in The Times this week headlined Fathers use elaborate tricks to avoid paying child support we hear the same one sided story from ‘single parent’ charity Gingerbread that men are feckless ‘high-rollers’ who care nothing for their children and create elaborate financial scams to defraud the hapless child maintenance and tax authorities…

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Loopholes ‘depriving single parents of child support’

June 26, 2017 17 comments

child maintenance

‘Loopholes’ mean too many absent parents are not paying their dues, single parent charity Gingerbread has claimed. In a new report entitled Children Deserve More, Gingerbread insist that recent reforms to the child maintenance system have “prioritised administrative convenience over all other concerns” and “desperate” parents with care are being let down by an unhelpful…

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Hindering contact is ‘coercive control’

May 4, 2017 21 comments

family law

Making life difficult for non-resident parents is a form of coercive control, a fathers group has claimed in a response to draft legislation. The Domestic Abuse Scotland Bill, currently under consideration by Hollyrood would outlaw behaviour deemed to be “abusive of the person’s partner or ex-partner”. Its provisions include so-called ‘coercive control’ – i.e. threats,…

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Liabilities are human beings: needs in divorce

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February 9, 2017 8 comments

finances and divorce

The story of the 50 year-old Surrey man who was supposedly told by the Court of Appeal earlier this week that he must support his ex-wife ‘for life’ generated predictable controversy and headlines. The couple had married in 1988 and eventually went their separate ways 15 years ago. In their divorce she received a significant…

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Just how effective is the new child maintenance system?

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August 11, 2016 7 comments

family law

On 3 August the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) published statistics for ‘effective family-based child maintenance arrangements’, for the year from April 2015 to March 2016. A few words of explanation, for the benefit of those who are not au fait with the current child support/maintenance scheme. The primary rationale behind the scheme is…

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Delay in enforcing child support is breach of Article 6

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August 3, 2016 1 comment

family law

The child support/maintenance system is sadly notorious for being inefficient. Whether its latest incarnation, under the auspices of the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) rather than the Child Support Agency (a change of name can work wonders), proves any better, only time will tell. The initial indications, however, are hardly auspicious: by November 2015 the new…

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