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A recent study from America has found that many of the generation known as baby boomers (those currently aged 45 – 63) are facing a lonely old age.

According to the study, by Bowling Green State University’s National Center for Family and Marriage Research, one third of this age group is currently unmarried, which represents a 50% increase over people of the same age group in 1980. A third of these single baby boomers have never been married, and just 10% of them are widowed. The bulk of the remainder were married but are now divorced.

Researchers claim that marital status can have significant repercussions for people in their old age. Generally, people who are divorced will have greater financial resources and be healthier than those that are widowed or never married.

The group of baby boomers who never married are raising particular concern, because researchers claim that the chances of getting married for the first time in middle age are very low. This means that most of those boomers who have never married are likely to remain single for the rest of their lives.

“The shift in marital composition of the middle-aged suggests that researchers and policymakers can no longer focus on widowhood in later life and should pay attention to the vulnerabilities of the never-married and divorced as well,” said researcher Dr. I-Fen Lin.

Reform of children's hearings system

Posted by on in Family Law

The Scottish Government has announced that, following advice from experts within the sector, it has agreed to an extension to the timetable for planned reforms to Scotland’s children’s hearings system. 

The reforms – as set out in the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 – are designed to strengthen and modernise Scotland’s unique hearings system and will now take effect in the second quarter of 2013. The current system will remain in place until then, ensuring children continue to receive the support they need.

Children’s Minister Aileen Campbell said:

“The hearings system plays a hugely valuable role and ensures children get the support, protection and guidance they need, when they need it.

“Both the First Minister and I have committed to Parliament that we would always listen to the people on the ground regarding the continued good working of the system and the successful delivery of the reforms.

“I have listened to the views of the experts, including Children’s Hearings Scotland and The Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration and have agreed to move the date for the introduction of the new system.

“The current system has served us well and will continue to do so until the new structures are in place. These reforms must be right, not rushed and we can now look forward to achieving the successful delivery of the new system.”

Legal centre speaks out against CSA reforms

Posted by on in Family Law

Coram Children’s Legal Centre (CCLC) has criticised the government's proposal to charge single parents to use the services of the Child Support Agency (CSA).

According to the government, the changes are intended to encourage separated couples to mediate more between themselves to reach mutual agreements regarding maintenance payments without resorting to Government services.

Under the proposed new scheme, single resident parents would be charged a £100 fee (£50 to those on benefits) to use the CSA to force their ex-partners to pay maintenance for their children. In addition, up 12% will also be deducted from the money received, for the CSA’s administrative charges.

According to the CCLC:

...

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