Unhappy families

6 December, 2007

I stumbled upon these forums the other day. If you look at the sections on divorce, child access and maintaince several things are readily apparent. This really matters to people, the present system whether in the family courts or the CSA isn’t really pleasing anyone and access to “justice” whatever that means in the circumstances has alot to do with how much money people are willing to spend on litigation.

Lawyers love it and the system is to opaque. Now this may have benefits in being able to taylor the situation to the individual circumstances of the case but also creates the impression of arbitary justice.

This is linked to the issue of the enforcement of court orders which is not an easy thing to do if the police aren’t going to get involved and the courts are for obvious reasons loath to chuck people in jail. Add in an epidemic of alcohol and drug abuse and leven with domestic violence and it is easier to see why people could see it as a hell pit of human misery. This is before the years of dealing with the CSA, a government agency that seems to command universal derision.

There have been various suggestions from across the political spectrum that the tax system should recognise marriage and then as if by magic we will all start to live idilyic lives just like the Waltons. Personally i’m not convinced by that arguement but i’m becoming increasingly concerned  that the public policy agenda does not have answers to some very tough issues.

Family law and the CSA may not be the staple fodder of the political blogosphere after all we’d all rather talk about the latest funding scandal or selection. Did someone mention Maidstone? Er no Iain you can calm down. But we should realise that this area of policy really matters to people. Get it right and we’d be making a huge contribution to improving the lives of not just this generation but the next.

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