Tuesday, 1 January 2013


Happy New Year everyone.
Over the festive season I have driven a particular route on a number of occasions that involves crossing a beck. The foundations of the stone bridge that spans this were washed away in floods earlier in the year and a temporary metal structure has therefore been installed. Only one lane of traffic is permitted to pass and, as it does so, the construction creaks, groans, and sways.  Without such I would have been obliged to make a detour of some 15 miles but I still approached it on each occasion with consternation. Once there was a large tractor in front of me and I nervously waited until it had safely crossed, imagining at any moment that the metalwork might buckle and give way beneath its weight.
In December the team of lawyers with which I work was very busy resolving arrangements for contact with children over the Christmas period.  In many of these cases it is imperative that the parents build bridges to allow their children to transfer from one home to another. As I waited for that tractor to cross, I pondered on the fact that its predicament was not so dissimilar to that facing families caught up in a Christmas contact dispute. Strong foundations are needed and, whilst a court order can assist in imposing a temporary and artificial structure, ultimately the bridge that connects the parents must be rebuilt to fully support and ensure the well-being of their children. They cannot be expected to swim or flounder in the fast flowing water beneath.
I hope this Christmas was a good one for you and your family and that, at the very least, you started to build the foundations for a new bridge where one is needed.

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