collaborative law

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(…)

FALLING IN LOVE OR HARASSMENT?

You may have heard on the news about recent changes to the law on harassment.  By coincidence I am reading a book by Robert Dunbar ‘The Signs of Love and Betrayal’ where there is a description of a recognised condition known as Clerambault’s syndrome (named after a French psychiatrist) which is an obsession or more(…)

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(…)

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(…)

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(…)

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(…)

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(…)

RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS – WHO WOULD DO IT?

I am sitting here in the office at 11 o’clock at night doing one or two things which I thought might take me an hour or two but has taken a lot longer and I still have a pile of bad debts to deal with! Yes the freedom that being your own boss gives you,(…)

NEW RULES FOR FAMILIES?

The Family Justice Review (“FJR”) was the long awaited report into the running of the family courts.  It came out at the end of November and in February the Government proposed changes to contact arrangements and this caught the headlines.  It is perhaps unfortunate that some of the other less provocative, but very sensible, proposals(…)

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(…)

SEPARATING AND PERHAPS IT’S ALL GETTING OUT OF CONTROL?

Generally speaking when parties separate one person will have realised that the relationship has broken down a long time before the other.  They will have been thinking about what to do next; maybe they have met somebody else or just decided that the relationship is not going anywhere and they would rather move on to(…)

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(…)

WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT OUR OFFICES?

What is so special about our offices, situated as they are in beautiful countryside on the Warwickshire / Oxfordshire border, with amazing views over the Feldon Valley and, somewhat amazingly, a herd of Water Buffalo.  Well, for a start there is ample free parking, they are easy to find, just off the main Shipston to(…)

MEDIATION

As many of you will know, from 6 April 2011 the Ministry of Justice proposed that before anyone made an application to the court in relevant family proceedings (and this is not divorce – relevant means an application in relation to money matters or children issues), the person making the application should contact a mediator.(…)

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(…)

ALL CHANGE AT THE FAMILY COURTS

From 6th April 2011 everything changed, or was said to have changed, in the family courts.  All the court forms were changed and the major innovation was the introduction of mediation – as though mediation something new!  Everyone contemplating a divorce or separation will have been through some form of mediation, even if they may(…)

MOVING PREMISES

We are just in the throes of moving office which is becoming ever more complicated.  It is not just that we seem to be dependent on BT to produce line and internet connection, but we are faced with completely empty rooms and we have to lay out two offices and a reception area.  This means(…)