Old John's Almanac

Old Father JohnIn time-honoured tradition here are my predictions for the family law news stories of 2007:

January - The Courts Service announces a 1000% rise in court fees. The cost to issue a divorce petition will now be £3000. The Lord Chancellor's Department denies that the rise is motivated by the desire to reduce court waiting times.

February - The Lord Chancellor gives himself a 1000% pay rise, but denies that this has anything to do with January's announcement.

March - The Child Support Agency announces that uncollected child support payments now total more than £4 billion. The Agency responds by cutting staff.

April - Breakaway fathers' rights group The Real Families Need Fathers 4 Justice carries out it's most audacious stunt to date when group Chairperson Ollie Nosworthy dresses up as Tony Blair and announces that this year he will be paying for his own holiday.

May - Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills decide to settle out of court. Their lawyers are spotted in a bar near the Law Courts crying into their dazzle cocktails.

June - The Child Support Agency announces that uncollected child support payments now exceed £5 billion. Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton responds by granting himself a pay rise.

July - Lord Carter is mugged by a group of tramps in Chancery Lane. Reports that the muggers were all out of work legal aid solicitors are denied by the Legal Services Commission.

August - Ollie Nosworthy is seen holidaying at Tony Blair's new villa in Tuscany.

September - The Child Support Agency announces that uncollected child support payments are now more than £6 billion. The average time between a parent claiming child support and receiving any payment is now 17 years and 11 months.

October - The House of Lords gives its judgment in the landmark case of Black v Black. On divorce, wives will now receive all of their husband's assets, save where the husband can show a 'galactic contribution', in which case he gets to keep the family pet.

November - The Child Support Agency announces that uncollected child support payments now total more than £7 billion. The agency's replacement, C-MEC, denies that recovering the arrears will prevent it from doing its job.

December - The last firm to offer a legal aid service, Messrs. Brow, Beaten & Bankrupt of Little Sodbury finally closes it's doors. The three-mile long queue of new clients reluctantly makes its way to the nearest C.A.B..

Happy New Year!

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