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Chris Barton's Sketch

Date:17 MAY 2010

Chris Barton It appears that the marriage tax allowance is to be reinstated. But if chucking money at matrimony is the right way to honour it, why not just give the lie to those headlines about the average cost of weddings being the cost of a small car, or whatever it is this week.  A wedding licence from the registrar's office is £94. Not counting the £3.50 for the marriage certificate on the day.

It may be too late for the Burden sisters, but there remains an argument in favour of extending civil partnership to such consanguines. Registration does not require a couple to have sex (no non-consummation ground for nullity, although it might be inferred from the ‘unreasonable behaviour' fact for dissolution) and the partners do not even have to be gay.  As a result it is perfectly possible for two persons of the same gender to (mis)use the 2004 Act for tax advantage - in the same way as a male/female pair can misuse marriage.

The new Government is on to something with its proposal that a 55% majority be needed to dissolve Parliament: perhaps it could be extended to jury verdicts, the yardstick for financial relief on divorce per White (2000) and the burden of proof in care proceedings (In Re B (Children) (Care orders: Standard of proof (2008)).

Horror: I thought that dumbing down started the year after I went to university which was, per Phillip Larkin, ‘Between the end of the Chatterley Ban/And the Beatles first LP'. Yet according to Edmund Crispin it was actually a lot earlier (‘The undergraduates get more moronic every passing moment', Holy Disorders (1946)). So the rest of you must be practically invertebrate by now.

Professor Chris Barton is a retired Family Law Teacher, Vice-President of the Family Mediators Association and a regular contributor to Family Law. Click here to follow Chris Barton on Twitter

The views expressed by contributing authors are not necessarily those of Family Law or Jordan Publishing and should not be considered as legal advice.