Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New Rights for Cohabitees?

The Law Commission has recommended that the Government introduce legislation to give legal rights to cohabitees on the breakdown of their relationship. The suggestions are:

1. It will apply to those who have cohabited for 2 years of more and to those who have children.

2. People can opt out of it if they so choose.

3. It will be based on "qualifying contributions"and one will have to show that either one has lost out or one's ex partner has gained.

4. The remedies available will extend to making a pension share and can include a forced sale of the property.

What do I think:


1. The opt out clause.

There is a similar procedure under the Landlord and Tenant Act which removes the rights of compensation which the statute provides to the tenant if the landlord were to reclaim the building. It is standard practice for landlords to insist that tenants sign the opt out before they grant a lease. No doubt it will become standard practice for the cohabitee with financial clout to insist that the cohabitee with financial disadvantage signs the opt out before they move in.

2. The terms "qualifying contribution" and "enduring consequences".

These are subject to interpretation and sound ridiculous. There should be a straightforward definition of exactly what a "qualifying contribution" is otherwise they will simply encourage litigation. I don't think £100.00 is enough for a "qualifying contribution" but maybe you do type scenario. What is The Law Commission's definition of a "qualifying contribution"?

"any contribution arising from the cohabiting relationship which is made to the parties' shared lives or to the welfare of members of their families. Contributions are not limited to financial contributions and include future contributions, in particular the care of the parties' children following separation."

Clear as mud then!!!!!!!

3. Will the economically disadvantaged be entitled to legal aid?

If so, and one has no assets, one will have nothing to lose by litigating for one's "qualifying contribution" courtesy of the State. The Law Commission talks about serious cost consequences if one litigates needlessly or disproportionately, but that's no threat if you have nothing.


1. The enforced sharing of childcare costs.

I have always thought it a nonsense that one can make a claim under the Children Act for school fees (which by definition are for the relatively financially advantaged) but not for childcare costs. In effect the State picks up the tab via the Tax Credits system.

Making the other parent share the childcare costs is a good idea and should be extended to all parents via The Children Act and not just to ex cohabitees.

Anyway perusing the whole report was as interesting as reading my local parking committee's implementation and definition of survey requirements agenda for car parking facilities in and around the village. To put this in context, I rarely drive, I use my bike and I love reading about Family Law.

See the following report in THE TIMES for more details on The Law Commission report and the Hamble news for an update on the car parking.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

How can you tell if your wife is being unfaithful?

Whenever people report that their partner wants a divorce due to meeting someone new, the signs were there long before the relationship finally crashed. Possible clues to look out for in your wife, and one of these alone is probably not indicative but more than 3 should raise suspicions:

1. She develops a new hobby such as salsa, and you hate dancing, so she goes alone.

2. She starts going out regularly with a new female friend whom you have never met.

3. Her appearance has improved. Nicer clothes, more sexy underwear, or she has lost weight, changed her hairstyle, gone for botox, got a brace on her teeth etc.

4. She refuses to have sex with you.

5. She encourages you to work away from home or go on that golf holiday with your friends.

6. She shows no interest in you or your work.

7. She avoids you, for example 5 minutes after you walk into the sitting room she goes upstairs to have a shower. This happens a lot.

8. She has stopped arguing with you.

Of course, it may simply indicate that your wife has gone off you, but that is not good news either. Do you want to save the marriage? - suggest Relate. Do you want to end it? - hire a private investigator and see a divorce lawyer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Men and their double lives

An increasing number of women are reporting an incidence of men deceiving them with the double lives syndrome. No longer content with simply having an affair a greater buzz is to be acquired by pretending each girl is the only one.


1. Over the top flowery text messages.

2. His phone goes off radar after 7pm or he always calls on his way home.

3. You don't know his home address or home phone number.

4. He manipulates arguments late at night and storms out.

5. He has a hobby which takes him away from home.

6. You haven't met any of his family or he claims they are all dead.

7. Something doesn't add up - he is still in business with his ex partner or he has left his bike/dog at her house.

8. When on the phone to you he suddenly hangs up and claims there is a problem with his phone/battery.

9. He suggests impossible dates - he invites you over when you have your best friend from South Africa staying, he asks you to go to Paris with him for the weekend when he knows you are working.

10. Eventually you are invited to visit his flat which he shares with his mate and there are none of his personal possessions on display. Most men are untidy, so a pristine room suggests he doesn't actually live there.

Next time your intuition warns you that something does not add up - believe it, and next time a man asks you for your phone number exchange home numbers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Heather Mills to Get £70 million

According to newspaper reports, Heather Mills is to receive a total package from Sir Paul McCartney worth £70 million. Will she cheer up now? Probably not.

Apparently there is a gagging order included preventing either party talking about the reason for the breakdown of their marriage. Is that not a bit late? What more could possibly be revealed by the hated Heather to put Sir Paul in a bad light?

This is more money than originally expected (£30 to £40 million reputed offer) but Sir Paul is reported to have a fortune of £800 million so he can easily afford it. It's a bit like receiving a parking ticket though, just because you can afford to pay it does not make it any more palatable!!!!!!

This is the biggest divorce payout so far in this country and all rich people should take note and remain single. Not sure how the super rich get past the first question anyway, as Dame Edna said to Debbie McGhee "what initially attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?"

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

To all you nice men at Fathers for Justice

To all you guys who have sent me mail calling me a sexist, money grabbing, corrupt, 2 bit, lesbian, moron, bitch who does not know what she is talking about - you too have a right to be wrong. However, if you wish me to post your comments please reveal yourselves - anonymous blogging is for cowards.

To Matthew O Connor - "feeding me to your membership" and sending me 9500 e mails telling me that your organisation is watching me is not flattering, an ex boyfriend told me that even he would have stopped at 1000. Neither is it intimidating, although if you advise your membership to use the same tactic on their ex partners, it is no wonder they have problems with contact with their children!!!!!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Dads who will not pay to support their children

Until now I have deliberately ignored this story but..........here goes........ don't say I didn't warn you......

The barrister? legal clerk? (reports vary) Michael Cox, has been jailed and subsequently freed for refusing to pay Child Support. The BBC reports that given his children spend 50% of their time with him he argues that the law is wrong and he should not have to pay their mother anything towards their care.

Why are the CSA involved?

This is where the story starts to get confusing. The CSA is not like the Crown Prosecution Service, they act upon the Parent with Care's instructions, unless he/she is in receipt of State Benefits in which case they plough on regardless. According to reports, again confusing, the ex wife works part time in a taxi office and pleaded with the Judge that if dad was jailed she would have to give up work and go on State Benefits to look after her 16 year old and 13 year twins without dad's help. Given that 16 year olds can legally marry and have their own children in this country it is unsurprising that the Judge did not fall for that one. By all reports it's one big happy family, dad having remarried and having 2 further sons and living nearby, so why can't the 3 lads stay with their step mum and brothers while dad is in prison anyway?

So, the mother is not in receipt of State Benefits but does receive Tax Credits which is why the CSA is seeking the £43,000 arrears, according to reports. This is contrary to the whole ethos of the Tax Credits system!!!!!! Tax Credits are paid regardless of what maintenance the Parent with Care receives. Such income is disregarded in their assessment. This was deliberate to encourage Parents with Care back into work, as their maintenance was always taken into account in assessing their State Benefits.

Curiouser and curiouser!!!!!!!!

If what they claim is true however, and it is baffling in the extreme, a simple solution would have been for the mother to cease making her Tax Credits claim, but it would still appear that she must have made a CSA Application in the first place. Insufficient facts are provided to work out how this situation arose, it is atypical because normally the Parent with Care embraces the help of the CSA in order to collect Child Maintenance because she needs it. Clearly this barrister's/legal clerk's ex wife did not need it (again according to newspaper reports) so why make the claim in the first place? One is left to assume, and I emphasise assume because the facts are not supplied, that she was on State Benefits which is why the CSA marched on, to reclaim tax payer's money, and why not?

Of course, this assumption may be wrong. His ex wife may never have received State Benefits and may never have made a CSA application.

Who did then?

Why is this nightmare happening to Mr Cox? The CSA was renowned for it's inefficiency and lack of proactive chasing of recalcitrant absent parents. It would appear that they set this claim up themselves. How very singular.

Who is this £43,000.00 payable to?

Mrs Cox or the State?

If it's Mrs Cox, why doesn't he just give her the money and she give it back to him? We are talking about 12 years arrears, that is a lot of State time and money (your taxes and mine) spent chasing this guy. Why?

Why should he pay anything?

The now disbanded CSA was set up to assess child maintenance. The Family Courts take the view that a child has the right to share in the living standards of his parents. The CSA rates are reduced to account for how much time the child spends with the absent parent and at the time this was introduced it was considered controversial as it was thought it would encourage additional contact in order to reduce the maintenance levy.

In any event the assumption was that the main carer required support from the absent parent and in the vast majority of cases this is true. The best way to achieve this is via Child maintenance and perhaps an additional capital order or topping up order in favour of the child, even where care is split. For example, dad could be earning £70,000 per annum and mum could be on minimum wage. Clearly mum needs help in this instance even where the care is shared. The aim was to ensure that children did not fall into poverty.

In the unusual cases where incomes were similar and care was split then couples could make their own arrangements and did not need to involve the CSA. Lots of couples make their own arrangements. The CSA was only there to support parents with care in the sad cases where the absent parent did not pay.

The law is wrong says Mr Cox

Given that most old people don't have any school age children why should they pay towards our education system? Given that a lot of people live fit and healthy lives why should they pay towards the National Health service? It is the law of this fair and pleasant land. The welfare system helps to support our society's weakest members and it is a matter of public policy to be lauded that absent parents are expected to financially support their own children.

What of Mr Cox?

As I have pointed out, I do not have the full facts of his case, I am more than prepared to change my opinion if the facts are supplied and it turns out that Mr Cox is indeed a helpless victim of the system.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

What is a Consent Order?

This is one of the most popular search terms on this blog. Everyday there are hits relating to this. There are only 2 more popular daily searches on my blog, one of which is "What makes a man attractive?" Will enjoy doing a further post on that one later.

A Consent Order is the legal document which finalises financial matters on divorce. It is a completely separate legal procedure to the divorce itself, which is known as the main suit. A financial application in divorce is labelled Ancillary Relief.

Don't leave home without one! Remember, you can get divorced without a Consent Order but it is rare that it would be in your financial best interests to do so.

A Consent Order is necessary if you have any assets, are likely to acquire any assets in the future (such as an inheritance), have a reasonable income or have an income potential.

The Consent Order needs to be carefully drafted to cover all aspects and to ensure that the matter does not end up back in Court years later.

For a more detailed explanation of what it involves please refer to post dated Thursday August 3rd 2006 " Divorce - Consent Order". to make it easier to find I have set up a separate category.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Non paying dads list of shame!!!!

The CHILD SUPPORT AGENCY produce their list of non paying dads on their own web site in an effort to name and shame. Unfortunately, someone who refuses to pay to support their own child is probably beyond shame.

What they need to do is name and cause maximum grief and aggro. They need to publicise the list more, with photos and ages and the total debt owed.

I suggest the following:

1. Have a link to their page from all dating agency sites.

2. Produce a local list of the sad dads at the back of all football programmes, bus and train timetables.

3. Make them display a non paying dad sticker on their car which prevents them parking on any public street.

4. Make them exempt from treatment under the National Health

5. Make them exempt from receiving the State Pension.

No doubt there would be outrage, but perhaps they would pay up, and that is the aim isn't it?

Our society extends a lot of privileges and rights to its members, those who do not fulfil their obligations should have some of their privileges removed.

I remember a film I watched as a child with Yul Brynner as Tony Curtis' father and the bravery he showed for his son. My dad is my Yul Brynner and I will be eternally grateful for everything he has done for me. What on earth do these non paying dads think their children will grow up to think of them?

If anyone wants to argue this point on the basis of needing the money to fight for Contact I can show them some heartbreaking e mails from adult children (names withheld) who want me to sue their dads for never supporting them. PAY UP!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 02, 2007

How can I hurt my spouse as much as possible?

Be unfaithful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is probably not your intention when you fall into an accidental affair but it is a guaranteed result. The same as drunk drivers don't mean to maim and kill pedestrians, it is simply an unintended consequence of their reckless and selfish act.

It should be reasonably foreseeable, to even the least educated and gifted intellectually, that deceiving your partner by indulging in intimate acts with another individual is going to cause pain.

What to do when temptation looms?

1. Go for a run or take up a sport or regular exercise.

2. Change the situation so that you do not come into contact with the individual concerned.

3. Once you have not seen the object of your desire for 6 months re assess how you feel. If your hormones are still raging, tell your spouse it is over, move out and then move on.

It is like driving when you want to turn right - mirror, signal, manoeuvre, get it the wrong way round and there will be a crash!!!!!!!!!