Archive for November, 2013

Values in family matters

November 25th, 2013
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Values in family matters can mean those such as honour, dignity, trust etc and values as in terms of how much the property and other assets are worth. Very often valuations are difficult to agree because of the breakdown in trust and communication that it is an inevitable part of divorce.  It may also be caused by the fact that if there is not quite enough money to enable both parties to rehouse themselves or start again in a satisfactory way, then the value of

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Lack of trust

November 22nd, 2013
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  I recently heard Evan Davies on the Radio talking about trust in the business context and how recent research suggests that businesses actually run better from the bottom up rather than the top down.  What that means in practise is that responsibility has to be delegated, employees need to be given the trust, the resources, the authority to implement policies and procedures, the more you trust people the more they respond positively. One example used was customer service.  It is key to any business,

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Research reveals high satisfaction with collaborative law

November 20th, 2013
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An interdisciplinary research project looking at how people accessed help in family disputes has just published preliminary findings from a national survey into the three major forms of out of court family dispute resolution which are Mediation, negotiation between Solicitors and Collaborative Law. The three year study commenced in July 2011 and is funded by the Economic and Social Research Panel. Generally Mediation was recognised as the most common way of dealing with matters outside of Court but there was also higher than expected recognition

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When is a marriage not a marriage?

November 15th, 2013
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Very often you hear people say “well, they’ve been together for years and they have children so the partner must have acquired an interest in the property” or you hear the term “common law marriage” and the implication that this must mean something.  Well it doesn’t – there is no such thing as common law marriage.  You are either married or not married.  If you are not married then you do not acquire an interest in anything belonging to the other party, however long you

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The most popular age to get divorced?

November 13th, 2013
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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 over 65 getting divorced is certainly increasing but in my view the most common age for divorce remains mid-late 40’s. This may be because younger people have never married

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Managing Christmas as a divorced or separated parent

November 11th, 2013
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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 and emotional stress which can, for some families, be the final straw.  Or it can just be average:  most peoples’ Christmases are in fact just that – ok, nothing more

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Mediation explained

November 8th, 2013
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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. Mediators must be authorised to carry out the mediation information and assessment meetings (MIAMs).  The applicant attends an information meeting at which the mediator will give advice about all forms of alternate dispute resolution.  This could

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Is the divorce process unfair to men?

November 6th, 2013
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I make no apologies for revisiting this issue as it does seem to be a common concern.  There is a widespread perception that with the divorce process and any issue or argument over children, particularly if it is conducted through the courts, favours women.  Is this correct? The courts, when dealing with children, have as their primary concern the welfare of the children.  A fairly neutral position and certainly one that is supposedly child focused as opposed to looking after the interests of either parent.

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Separating from your partner and it’s all getting out of control?

November 4th, 2013
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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 something else.  It can, therefore, come as an immense shock to the other person when the news is broken or a divorce petition is received – suddenly the relationship that

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Are Mediation or Collaboration possible when you’re going through a divorce?

November 1st, 2013
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If people are separating or divorcing after many years together, particularly when there are children involved, then obviously there are emotions that may inhibit a calm and rational approach.  But surely it is better to try, rather than straight away decide to use the court which is an adversarial approach that merely polarizes the parties, is extremely stressful and costs an awful lot of money.  These must be reasons to look at collaboration more seriously. So how does collaboration differ from mediation? Mediation involves the

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