children and divorce

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,(…)

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(…)

PROPOSED CHANGES TO CHILD MAINTENANCE

The child support agency has had its critics and its difficulties. It was temporarily replaced by CMEC (but nobody noticed the difference and CMEC itself was abolished in March 2012). Since then the Department for Work and Pensions has been responsible for the CSA which in turn was replaced by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS)(…)

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(…)

WHO HAS THE CHILDREN?

When parents separate a key question is what is going to happen to the children.  Contrary to popular belief both parents not just fathers, fear that they will see less of their children.  Obviously dads worry that they may not have so much contact with their children but mums worry about that too.  The question(…)

IF YOUR CHILDREN GET DIVORCED

Parents are increasingly having to get involved with their children’s divorce.  Perhaps it is one aspect of the recession that parents are needed, not just as a shoulder to cry on but to provide financial support.  This can take the form of paying the legal fees or more often lending money (perhaps that should be(…)

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(…)

THE BEST LAWYER?

This blog was prompted by a telephone call I received late one Friday from someone extremely anxious about the way his separation was going.  He had hoped to keep things fairly low key and amicable between himself and his wife.  A family friend was acting as a go between in helping them to sort out(…)

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS

Although it is only November, as soon as the clocks go back it seems that everyone is trying to get us to focus on Christmas.  Christmas can be a great family time of year, an excuse to take some time to visit friends and family, but equally it can be a dreadful time of financial(…)

A CHILD’S DILEMMA

I am reading a fascinating book at the moment – ‘The Science of Love and Betrayal’ by Robin Dunbar, it is all about why people fall in love, is there any scientific or logical reason for this, does it actually help the development of the human race? It appears not, we do not actually need(…)

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(…)

THE MODERN MEDEA

Medea is a Greek Tragedy written by Euripides around about the 5th Century BC. It tells the tale of a wife scorned by her husband so enraged by her predicament that she takes revenge through their children. In her desire to hurt him she kills their children. Far fetched? Well, I have just been listening(…)

CHANGING THE FAMILY – FOR THE BETTER

Everybody is aware that divorce rates are rising and there is supposedly a crisis with the nuclear family in Britain. We look back to some mythical time in the 1950s with its low divorce rates and seemingly perfect happy families, to a time that we may want to emulate. However, there were very real social(…)

LEGISLATIVE CHANGES ABOUT CONTACT AND RESIDENCE?

Every so often we have a debate on parental rights about whether there should be an automatic assumption that both parents should play an equal role in their children’s lives if they separate or divorce.  The debate normally centres around the argument of whether or not the Courts have a bias in favour of the(…)

BACK TO SCHOOL – TIME FOR A CHANGE? DON’T FORGET THE KIDS

Divorce and Children Apart from the Olympics it’s been a pretty awful summer for many:- whether it be washed out summer fetes, no improvement in the economy (whatever that means!) or graduate unemployment, times have been difficult for some.  Thank goodness for the Olympics which gave us all something else to focus on. However back to(…)

10 WAYS TO AVOID A DIVORCE LAWYER – Part 1

1)   Marry the right person. This may sound obvious, but it is amazing how many people really do marry the wrong person, or fail to take sufficient time to make sure they make the right decision. Far better to try and ensure a correct decision than have to undo the wrong on later. Divorce is(…)

THE COST OF ‘FAIRNESS’

This blog was prompted by a lot of conversations recently about the concept of ‘fairness’. What is or can be ‘fair’ about divorce and the inevitable division of the family assets? Who decides what is fair and reasonable – well ultimately a Judge at the end of an expensive and sometime acrimonious legal process. Alternatively,(…)