collaborativelaw

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(…)

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(…)

CHANGING FAMILIES

We perhaps all know that the traditional nuclear family – mother, father and children that they have produced together, although possibly the “norm” is by no means the only concept of “family” which society recognises. With the increasing recognition of same sex relationships, other family arrangements are made and it follows too that when these(…)

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(…)

IS DIVORCE RECESSION RELATED?

As many of you may have heard recently the number of divorces in England and Wales has increased for the first time since 2003. Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics indicate that the number of divorces in England and Wales rose by 4.9% in 2010 to 119,589 compared with 113,949 in 2009.  This(…)

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.(…)

WHAT’S NEW IN CHILD MAINTENANCE?

As many of you will know, the Child Support Agency is to be replaced CMEC, the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission and they have now published their proposals for a new statutory child maintenance scheme which, amongst other aspects, includes plans to increase the amount of maintenance paid by parents on state benefits and others(…)

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(…)