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Jonathan Tod, Barrister, 29 Bedford Row and Edward Cooke, Solicitor, MacDonald Oates.
The recently reported decision of N v D  1 FLR 1629 (comment at  Fam Law 627) brings into sharp focus the need for reform in the law relating to heterosexual cohabiting couples. The decision is significant in that it is the first reported Children Act 1989, Sch 1 decision involving a father who is not 'fabulously rich': the parties had combined liquid assets of £1 million and the father enjoys an income £180,000 net per annum. It is also the first reported case in which the parties cohabited over a lengthy period (17 years). The decision provides helpful guidance in respect of caring allowances but also illustrates the limitation of provision available to the mothers of children under Sch 1 and the manifest unfairness of the current state of the law in this area, particularly in long cohabitating relationships.
For the full article, see August  Family Law journal.
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