Our articles are written by experts in their field and include barristers, solicitors, judges, mediators, academics and professionals from a range of related disciplines. Family Law provides a platform for debate for all the important topics, from divorce and care proceedings to transparency and access to justice. If you would like to contribute please email editor@familylaw.co.uk.
A day in the life Of...
Read on

For better or for worse? Encouraging marriage through the tax system

Date:5 MAR 2013

Rebecca Probert

Professor of Law University of Warwick:

Before the 2010 election the Conservative party pledged to recognise marriage in the tax system if should be successful a pledge that has been repeated on a number of occasions since. But is the law capable of promoting marriage by economic incentives? An examination of the impact of one simple measure might suggest that it can: the calculation of the married man's tax allowance had a significant impact on the timing of weddings in earlier decades. But would such incentives have the same effect today? It is easier for policies to influence individual behaviour where they are consistent with general trends. Fiscal incentives to marry may contribute to a package of benefits enjoyed by married couples; they are less likely to be successful when operating in isolation. In any case recent surveys of couples' reasons for marrying suggest a rejection of pragmatism that might make obvious incentives counter-productive. If the aim of the proposals is to encourage more couples to marry it might be easier cheaper...

Read the full article here.