Old John's Almanac 2013
Following the success of my predictions for 2012 (with a remarkably similar graphic), here are my predictions for 2013:
January - Sir Paul Coleridge announces the launch of the Foundation of Small-Minded People. In an attempt to keep a lower profile, he makes the announcement whilst wearing a paper-bag on his head.
February - Mr Justice Ryder publishes the second 'Implementation Update' for the Family Justice Modernisation Programme. He says that he will "set up a new pathway which will enable better patterning of judges to give clear deployment instructions to their unified family administrations, to provide a multi-layered alternative to judicial decision-making with regard to the expectation documents and deployment guidance which will be applied to the itineraries and sitting patterns of mixed ticket judges". So, that's all clear then.
March - Fathers' rights group The Real Families Need Fathers 4 Justice launch a new advertising campaign: "Say it with flowers laced with arsenic this Mother's Day".
April - The new Lord Chancellor, the Right Honourable Mick 'Hang-em High' Maddog MP announces that legal aid will not, after all, be abolished for all private-law matters on the 1st - it was all just an elaborate April fool joke by his predecessor, Kenneth 'Laughing-Boy' Clarke.
May - In a cost-cutting exercise, the Government announces that the new family courts will be located in old public toilets that have been shut in recent years. Commenting on the announcement new Justice Minister Jonathan Damugly said: "We think this is an excellent idea, re-using old resources. The only downside we can see is that all court users will need one old penny to gain entrance."
June - New child support fees are introduced, whereby for every pound of child maintenance received, the parent with care must pay the CSA a £2 fee.
July - The Government announces a new 'shared parenting time presumption'. The presumption will mean that children must spend a precisely equal time with each parent, measured to the second.
August - The Government announces that in future all family law policy will be determined by what the Daily Mail says.
September - The Law Commission publishes its report on the Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements consultation. As expected, it recommends a formula for calculating the amount of a financial award on divorce. The formula is: Award = (Total assets ÷ 2). After working that out, the Commissioners award themselves a holiday.
October - After much criticism of its 'Sorting out separation' web app, the Government launches a new app for anyone needing help and support after separation. The new app is much smaller than the last one, but much more useful. It comprises just one page, with the advice: See a solicitor.
November - Sir Paul Coleridge has been cleared of judicial misconduct over his involvement with the Foundation of Small-Minded People, but said he would take an “even lower profile” position.
December - The Institute of Family Law Arbitrators announces that in 2013 it completed a record one-and-a-half arbitrations.
Happy New Year!