the Christmas story and how it could be affected by current legal practice!

Below are a number of random thoughts about the Christmas story and how it could be affected by current legal practice.

Firstly, you should be aware that Joseph did not have parental responsibility for Jesus. A man acquires parental responsibility for his children if he is married to the mother or is on the birth certificate. Joseph was only engaged to Mary and I do not see anything about Joseph registering his birth at the local Register Office. (Although perhaps the trip to have him circumcised would have then counted).

I believe that Jesus was God’s son, not Joseph’s son; however, Jesus was treated as a child of the family. This would mean, had Mary & Joseph subsequently divorced, the courts would want to know what the childcare arrangements were for this child. It would also have had a bearing on any financial settlement. It would not involve the CSA as that only involves natural parents.

Under the Human Rights Act, Mary and Joseph had the right to family life and privacy. I reckon that compelling a family to travel when the mother is pregnant for the purposes of a census is a breach of that provision.

They could apply to the court for a decision that Caesar’s directive was in breach of their right to a family life. In addition they should also have challenged the extent of the census as invasion of their privacy. If they had been successful they would not have had to spend the night in the innkeeper’s barn.

Now the innkeeper, (good chap and all that), but I am sure that he breached no end of regulations by allowing a family to stay overnight in a barn. By offering them accommodation, he was putting himself under a duty of care to ensure that they were safe. If they had caught any illness from the animals and muck that you find in a barn, there could well be a claim. Perhaps they could find a solicitor to do the work under a “no win no fee” arrangement!

With all the responsibilities of becoming new parents, Mary & Joseph should ensure that their will is up to date. Any will they had before marriage would be void once the marriage took place.

On behalf of Howard & Over can I wish all a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Greg Yates

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