amicabledivorce

ARE PRE-NUPTIAL AGREEMENTS LEGAL OR NOT?

Are-Nuptial Agreements are made by couples before they actually get married, setting out the arrangements for that marriage and, in particular, what they would like to happen should they separate.  Generally they deal with financial issues and how their assets will be divided should they get divorced. Pre-nups are most common where one party has(…)

IS THE FAMILY COURT FIT FOR PURPOSE?

Many couples involved in divorce or issues related to children would say very definitely “no”.  It can seem as though the “system” is against you.  The Courts are not really designed with people in mind; they are rather run by and for lawyers.  The individuals whose lives are being decided by the Judges rarely understand(…)

THINKING ABOUT DIVORCE?

According to the media, January and February are peak times for people to consider a divorce.  Whether it is because it is a new year and they want a new start or because the weather is so miserable, people have run out of money after Christmas, there is not a lot to look forward to,(…)

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR FINANCES IN DIVORCE

In order to advise properly as to terms for financial settlement within divorce, we need to see both parties’ full financial details and supporting documents.  Clients can find this an extremely frustrating and drawn-out process, particularly if the other party is not in any particular hurry or will not co-operate. In terms of getting your(…)

DO PARENTS FAIL TO SEE THE EFFECT OF DIVORCE ON THEIR CHILDREN?

A new report by Netmums suggests that separating parents are in denial about the effect of the divorce on their children.  Netmums, the parenting organisation, surveyed a thousand parents and a hundred children separately and concluded that parents see their divorce very differently from their children. According to the report: Almost a third of under(…)

A NEW WAY TO FUND LEGAL PROCEEDINGS?

 It is often a problem for one party who does not work to fund legal proceedings if they do not have access to joint funds or any independent means.  They may negotiate a loan from their solicitor on the basis that they will repay the costs once the house is sold but it is obviously(…)

WHAT IS MEDIATION?

This might be a strange question as everyone assumes they know what mediation is.   But when you also have collaboration, arbitration and compromise, what exactly is mediation and how does it differ from the other approaches to problem-solving? With mediation there is generally one mediator with two people who have, for whatever reason, not been(…)

CHILDREN IN CONFLICT

As you may be aware, it is not so much parental separation that causes problems for children but conflict they may see or experience between parents.  Conflict may not be obvious: silence can be a form of conflict which some children may be very sensitive to and affected by.  However difficult it may be for(…)

LOOKING FOR SOLUTIONS, NOT PROBLEMS

I was listening to a report of a series of experiments carried out to test how good radiographers were at identifying signs of cancer.  The participants were given x-rays and told to look for the usual signs which may indicate cancerous growths.  A small cartoon picture of a gorilla was added to the x-rays.  Not(…)

THE HIGH COST OF DIVORCE

There has been plenty in the press recently about the rising number of complaints about family lawyers, in particular to the legal ombudsman.  The main reason for those complaints seems to be the cost of divorce in terms of legal fees.  I am not going to defend the position of family lawyers here but I(…)

WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF THE LAW?

My feeling is that most people want and assume the law to be on their side, to create fairness, to right wrongs, to put things in order. But when a person comes to me to seek fairness, it tends to be interpreted from their perspective.  In a matrimonial dispute, the Court does indeed want to(…)

WHAT IS MEDIATION?

I think there is huge confusion with the term mediation, what does it mean, how much does it involve giving legal advice or information or does it just mean listening to two people arguing?  How does collaboration fit with mediation – what is the difference? I think as lawyers we have really failed to get(…)

IS A PAIN-FREE DIVORCE POSSIBLE?

I think the short answer to this is possibly not, unless it is a short marriage without children, then it might be, but even then I am sure one person will be more upset than the other if they are in some way on the receiving end of news that they did not want to(…)

THE CHANGING FACE OF DIVORCE

The Government seems to be more and more interested in how people get divorced,  and how to make the process less damaging and less expensive – primarily for the taxpayer rather than for the individuals concerned.  Courts are expensive institutions to operate – parties are encouraged to attend mediation before issuing any type of Court(…)

THE ETIQUETTE OF DIVORCE

It seems to me that there should be a guide on how to behave during a divorce, whether you are the couples themselves or their friends and families.  Everyone knows people who are separating or going through a divorce and it is usually a painful process for all concerned.  Although it is a common occurrence(…)

GROWING BUSINESS

It does seem rather strange that managing the growth of a business is much more difficult than just carrying on doing the same thing with no growth.  It is probably rather like cycling; it is much more difficult cycling downhill because things can get out of hand and it requires for more skill than cycling(…)

WHO IS TO BLAME?

I sometimes think that blaming someone else is a national sport, as a nation we seem to be quite good at it. If there’s a problem then we blame the bankers, the politicians, those claiming benefits, those not paying taxes. It’s never our fault or our responsibility. An interesting example is education. Employers are always(…)

5 MORE WAYS TO AVOID SEEING A DIVORCE LAWYER

Following on from the previous blog here are 5 more issues to consider:- 1)   Children. They can be a source of great joy, but also of great stress. Becoming parents introduces a different dynamic to your relationship. Be prepared to adapt to this and support one another. 2)   Take a look at your spouse’s parents(…)

WHAT ARE FATHERS’ RIGHTS?

The Family Justice Review (“FJR”) came out at the end of last year, but due to its length it has taken some time for it to be digested and in February the Government proposed new laws to enshrine some of its principles.  This caused some press activity because the recommendation or suggestion that children should(…)

CHILDREN OFF TO UNIVERSITY? IS IT TIME FOR A DIVORCE?

It appears to be an ever increasing trend that people are divorcing later in life.  Many first time divorcees are now over the age of sixty.  When children leave for university or leave home for other reasons is often a trigger for people to re-evaluate their situation.  It is not uncommon for people then to(…)

IS THE DIVORCE PROCESS UNFAIR TO MEN?

I make no apologies for revisiting this issue as it does seem to be a common concern – see the Daily Mail article published on March 10 by Louis de Bernieres.  There is a widespread perception that both with the divorce process and any issue or argument over children if it is conducted through the(…)

COLLABORATIVE LAW REVISITED

Hopefully it is clear that I am an advocate of collaborative law, that when parties separate it is far better for all concerned – them, their children, the wider family – if arrangements about how to separate, who is going to look after the children, can be made by agreement.  Certainly an agreement that both(…)

LAW COMMISSION ANOUNCES REVIEW OF FINANCIAL PROVISION ON DIVORCE

The Law Commission is about to examine how assets acquired by either party to the marriage prior to that marriage or civil partnership are to be treated, or assets received by gift or inheritance.  To what extent should they be automatically shared. When parties separate the major asset is generally the matrimonial home.  Both parties(…)

MORE CONTACT FOR DADS?

There has been a lot of media response recently to the Family Justice Review looking into the issue of shared parenting and the government’s response to that.  The Family Justice Review chaired by David Norgrove actually stated that they did not feel legislation would be helpful because of their analysis of similar legislation introduced in(…)

POST HOLIDAY BLUES? FACEBOOK AND DIVORCE

There has been a lot of talk in the media recently about the effects of the Christmas holidays on families and the resulting surge in divorce figures.  Is this really true?  Are lawyers inundated with new divorce cases in January?  Well, most of my colleagues would agree with me that it is actually a bit(…)

COLLABORATIVE LAW IN ACTION

What does a typical case look like? Let us take a fairly typical example of a couple in business together – the husband is a builder or plumber and his wife is employed by the business doing the books or answering the telephone, in a part time support role as they have young children who(…)

COHABITANT’S RIGHTS ON DEATH

The Law Commission has published its recommendations on reforming the law on intestacy and family provision claims on death, which include a proposal that certain cohabitants should be entitled to inheritance rights when there is no Will.  The situation at the moment is that if you are living with someone to whom you are not(…)

EMPLOYERS WILLING TO PAY EMPLOYEES’ LEGAL BILLS!

An interesting report in this week’s Family Law Week states that increasing numbers of businesses are paying some or all of the legal bills incurred by employees separating from their partners.  Companies are helping staff pay for divorce in an attempt to retain key personnel.  It seems that while recession can mean redundancies, it also(…)

THE MOST POPULAR AGE TO GET DIVORCED?

There were several articles in the press recently about the latest divorce figures suggesting that the only reported rise in the divorce rate is amongst the 60+ age range.  This doesn’t necessarily mean of course that this is the most popular age for divorce, merely that there is a new trend, the numbers of those(…)

WHO CARES FOR THE CHILDREN?

You may have heard the recent decision that legislation is not going to be introduced that gives the perception of a presumed favour of shared parenting when a relationship breaks down.  What does this mean? Whenever parties separate and there are children then a decision has to be made as to whom the children are(…)

COLLABORATION AND MEDIATION – WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

There has been a lot of publicity recently about mediation in the context of divorce, but also a lot of misunderstanding. If you are thinking about divorce proceedings you do not have to go to mediation first, it is not compulsory. In April changes were introduced by the Government to encourage couples to consider alternatives(…)