Sunday, 27 February 2011

BACK FROM VACATION


I’m back after a week away, but how I wish it could have been 2 weeks. That said, I can’t help remembering a quip from Woody Allen: “A holiday in Bermuda is over in 2 weeks. A divorce is something you always have.”

Thursday, 17 February 2011

SOMETHING IN THE WATER


It can only be something in the water surely as, according to the Office for National Statistics, the number of divorces in the United Kingdom has fallen again for the 5th consecutive year. The data, which is now available for 2009, however suggests that whilst there has been a 7% fall overall on the previous year, the reduction is even greater in Scotland at 9.9% and a whopping 22% in Northern Ireland. Now their water must be seriously strong!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

CRIMINAL BRUTALITY


In this blog entry I would like to pay a special tribute to the bravery of my close family members who had to endure the brutality of a visit to their home from masked gunmen at the weekend. It is an appalling state of affairs when grown up people can no longer feel safe in their home because of the mindless, threatening and bullying acts of others. In the case of my family they were subjected to some 30 minutes of terror. Imagine what happens when abuse or violence is repeated day after day. Aggravated burglary and domestic violence are both crimes.

Friday, 11 February 2011

GIVE ME THE CHOCOLATES ANY DAY

Not everyone’s idea of romance but at the Bronx Zoo in New York they are offering you the chance of naming a cockroach after your loved one. “Chocolates melt. Roaches are forever,” the zoo’s website says.

Forgive me, but who would you ever confide that romantic gesture to, apart from a divorce lawyer?

Thursday, 10 February 2011

MISTRESS FETCHES £25 MILLION


It is said that every cloud has a silver lining and sometimes even thunderstorms do too. Taking a lesson from the world of 20th Century art, I would therefore like to offer some advice to any woman who believes her husband may be having an affair: get him to painting classes, quickly! Pablo Picasso painted his mistress and the picture sold this week for £25 million. Now just think what your husband might be able to earn from his works of art. If it is all going to end in tears, at least the funds to be divided between you could be substantially supplemented or alternatively you could accept a couple of his canvasses as part of your financial settlement and store them in your attic until the time for auction is right.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

ANOTHER VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE


It is somewhat ironic that the consultation period set by the Government in relation to its plans to slash the Legal Aid budget closes on Valentine's Day, especially when it is the person encountering matrimonial difficulties who is potentially going to be hit hardest by the proposals. Resolution remains deeply concerned that the proposed changes will make it practically impossible to gain the legal advice, representation and court encouraged settlement or decisions that many people genuinely need and will result in unfair outcomes. The proposals will deny access to justice to people who need it at one of the most stressful and difficult times of their lives with potentially devastating consequences on families and children.

The Green Paper proposes that Legal Aid should no longer be available for people wishing to divorce or people whose partner wishes to divorce them and, unless there has been recent domestic violence (defined narrowly), for:
People who need legal assistance with sorting out the finances on divorce
Parents who need legal assistance in arranging contact with their children
Cohabitants where one partner needs help to claim a share of the family home

Whilst I have not undertaken legal aid work for over 12 years, I support Resolution in contending that:

  1. The cuts don’t have to be made; it is a political choice to cut legal aid, not a necessity.

  2. The Legal aid budget has been frozen in cash terms since 2004 despite massive increases in the volume of cases lawyers have had to handle. It accounts for less than one third of one percent of public expenditure, or one third of the annual increase in the health service budget.

  3. The impact assessment shows the cuts will have a greater impact on women and the black and minority ethnic community (BAME) as 59% of legal aid clients are female and 26% BAME

  4. The focus should be on reducing complex laws and procedures to help reduce the cost of justice.

  5. There will be many knock on effects of these cuts leading to increased costs in other parts of the justice system and health and social services.

  6. The purpose of legal aid is to ensure that nobody is unable to enforce or defend their rights for want of the resources to do so.

  7. Legal aid clients are some of the most vulnerable in society and good legal representation where required is essential if they are to obtain justice

Thursday, 3 February 2011

DONE UP LIKE A KIPPER


Now this might not work for every wife but if your relationship has taken a bit of a dive lately you may be able to resurrect it by getting your husband elected to the House of Commons and then preferably as Speaker. According to the Speaker’s wife, Sally Bercow, in an interview for the Evening Standard, “living under Big Ben with the bells chiming” is “sexy.” Also and whilst you might be somewhat concerned that other women will “hit on him,” it seems that life might have its recompenses as more men will hit on you too! Mind I’m not sure that I’d want to be “done up like a kipper,” but do wonder if you can get the same effect from a grandfather clock and election to the local Parish Council.