Saturday, 7 March 2009


Yesterday evening I attended Tees Valley Law Society’s Annual Dinner. It’s 2 or 3 years since I was last present and there was a definite change from the last occasion. Whilst the male dominated arena was still resplendent in its bow ties and dinner jackets, the ladies’ dresses had definitely altered. When I was last there brightly coloured, full-length, strapless evening gowns were very much the preferred garb. Last night, however, the ladies too were in sombre black and rarely did their hemlines extend below their knees. Austere times, notably after last century’s two World Wars, traditionally result in a curtailment of the volume of fabric used in women’s clothing. Presumably, therefore, last night was a definite illustration of the effects of recession and the need to cut one’s cloth accordingly. Oh dear, if the economic situation worsens then next year might find the ladies donned only in vests! I guess that’s an occasion this Darlington divorce solicitor will definitely forego.

Hemlines are not the only things that have been affected by the recession recently. Financial constraints are inevitably putting pressure on couples. As a result Relate published figures showing that its services are in increased demand but that less people are able to pay the full cost for these. Then Harriet Harman launched a booklet at an event at 11 Downing Street entitled, “Real Help Now for Women,” aimed to ensure that women know what support is available for them during the economic crisis and on the back of statistics that show that a large proportion are concerned about the effect the downturn is having on family life.

When funds are desperately needed to prop up family life, one might view the Government as considerate in authorising the printing of an extra £75 billion. I wonder how much of it is going to find its way to resolving relationship breakdowns? Not enough if the further cuts in legal aid presently being mooted and the problems in the family courts reported by the Bar Council this week, are anything to go by!

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