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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

26 OCT 2010

Penny Booth: Post-Radmacher

Penny BoothWell, the world did not stop turning and the sun is still shining - well, it is here, anyway. There was, indeed, a lot of comment on the case handed down last week and some very useful stuff there was, too - see this site for a start! Clients will be hammering at the doors for advice - immediate advice always demanded - and it will be necessary for you to revise your protocols for dealing with ‘prenups', ‘post-nups' and other ‘nups' to ensure you can give the best advice. Just remember that if the best judgment (well, in my opinion, anyway) is taken note of, then HM Government will have a hand in this before too long - either that, or it wasn't worth the candle in the first place because our senior judges will sort it on a case-by-case basis.                              

The papers were full of it, though, weren't they? I confess that I read only one which could have been referred to as a ‘tabloid' (physically, they mostly are, now, though, are they not? - something to do with maximising paper/print size and reading it on the train without putting out the eye of the smaller person next to you, or just giving the larger chap a bloody nose as you open the broadsheet). Anyway, even the formerly-known-as broadsheets got a bit of a panic on with two page spreads and the usual pictures of the ‘happy couple' and not-so-happy individuals. Most views seem to range between how ‘unromantic' these ‘prenups' are, to how very sensible they could be (especially if you have money). Already the decision (about which most people seem to agree) and the judgments (about which they don't) are being teased-out and quoted. Roll on Parliament having a ‘go' at this. I simply can't wait for our worthy MPs to debate how to tackle a problem affecting a minority while the majority struggle as they have always done.

The child benefit arguments keep rolling, too. I was surprised to find that a person described as ‘middle class' (how do they know?) announced that the child benefit she received for two children usually went into a trust fund but that she might miss the 140 pounds income she would lose under the reformed child benefit arrangements. Why would she lose it, after all, her income was 36,000 pounds per year? Ah yes, her husband is getting 90,000 pounds per year. Well, I cannot imagine just how hard it is on 126,000 pounds a year - take off around a half for tax, payments, pensions, etc. It must be really tough. Not quite enough to make drafting  a ‘prenup' costing 7,000-10,000 pounds, but certainly more than the average 26,000 or so earned by your average family in the UK. No criticism of individuals, but it makes you think, doesn't it?

Penny sets the questions for Family Law journalCPD, a new way to gain CPD points by answering multiple choice questions based on the content of the journal.

She is an Honorary Research Fellow at Liverpool University Centre for the Study of the Child, the Family and the Law. Click here to follow Penny Booth on Twitter.

The views expressed by contributing authors are not necessarily those of Family Law or Jordan Publishing and should not be considered as legal advice.

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