Thursday, 30 April 2009
There are many times in our lives when we need the help of someone, to lean on, aid and guide us. That’s why everyone should try to seek out a sensible, reliable person to assist them when they go through the trauma of separation. A friend or relative who will accompany you when you see your solicitor can be invaluable. A pal who will sit up with you when you want to unload late at night is very special. But that brave person who is prepared to be honest and subtle as well as supportive, is irreplaceable.
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
I have known both clients and friends flirt with various fad-diets. One of them I recall requires replacing two meals a day with bowls of cereal. I was therefore somewhat surprised to read in the results of a Which survey today that such breakfast cereal contains as much sugar as a helping of chocolate fudge cake premium ice-cream. I’m sorry but if I’m in need of sugar, and there’s a choice between ice-cream and an insipid cardboard-tasting breakfast cereal, I know which way I’d prefer to ingest it.
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Of course some wit has asked me if I expect swine flu to affect the number of divorce cases I’m handling. “Only if I catch it,” I replied.
Monday, 27 April 2009
How often do divorce solicitors have to warn clients to stay calm in the face of what appear to be overt attempts to cause an inflammatory scene, involve the police and have the unsuspecting other half caught like Professor Plum in the library with the lead pipe in one hand? In the present recession when houses are failing to sell and couples want to separate but can’t, more and more couples find themselves continuing to live together in the same home. If only for the sake of their children, I urge them to remain on civil terms.
Saturday, 25 April 2009
From Monday accredited journalists will be allowed to attend divorce, custody and care proceedings, unless the court has specifically excluded them. But the new rules will not allow journalists to report on what they hear in court and cases not considered newsworthy will presumably continue to be conducted in private.
Resolution believes that:
• The provisions should be further extended to allow journalists to report on specific cases but with appropriate safeguards to ensure anonymity and prevent identification
• An expanded Family Courts' Inspectorate, consisting primarily of lay members should be set up to report on consistency within the family courts.
Friday, 24 April 2009
What it does do is normalise the emotions that accompany marriage break up, describing how she loved her husband dearly and still did when she woke up the next day, until she remembered that he was leaving her. She recounts how she used to congratulate herself for not calling him and would lie in bed promising not to telephone the following morning either. She recalls the pain at handing her young daughter over for contact, the child’s arms locked around her in an embrace that she could not undo. She even remembers the emotions she encountered as child when her own father left and she visited him and his new partner. She describes dashing from work to collect her daughter from school and building her whole life around their relationship together.
The book is spiced with moments of humour including her first attempts at dating again. She learned to forget to worry about a career and instead concentrate on the family that was important to her, returning eventually to live in the hometown she had grown up in.
She rails at the family values enunciated by politicians and concedes that hers is the imperfect broken unit they attack whilst failing to recognise that, though not perfect, it functions adequately.
There cannot be many Agony Aunts prepared to be so honest in print and in acknowledging that divorce runs through her family “like an aggressive chromosome” she also thanks her family, particularly the women in it, for the support they gave her in helping her come to terms with and handle the experience.
Any complaints? Only that I thought it should have been longer.
My thanks to the publishers Hyperion for forwarding a copy of the book to read and review.
Thursday, 23 April 2009
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
Henry VIII with Gloriana in back - Claudius Messing
Originally uploaded by inacentaurdump
It is 500 years since Henry VIII came to the throne and it can hardly be co-incidence that Prince Charles is planning a visit to the Pope, nor that yesterday’s papers were full of stories about how the Vatican would be presenting him with a luxury bound facsimile copy of the papers relating to Henry’s request for the annulment of his marriage to Katherine of Aragon. Turned down by the Pope, Henry, as we all know, severed relations with Rome, installed himself as head of the Anglican Church and proceeded to dissolve his marriage to Katherine, ransack the monasteries and confiscate Catholic lands. Of course it didn’t stop there and indeed when he finally died a further five wives later, the concept of divorce had become embedded in English tradition, even though one of his wives actually died and he found it easier to accuse of treason and behead two of them than go through a proper legal process again. Resolution has issued a press release indicating the need to modernise our divorce laws further and distance ourselves from the concept of blame which Henry repeatedly sought to heap on his wives. I won’t repeat the release as John Bolch has done a wonderful job of including it in his blog which you can read by clicking here.
Sunday, 19 April 2009
“Don’t you dare snore,” Little Girl whispered as we entered the entertainment complex. “It’s a comedy,” she added as an afterthought, “And whatever you do don’t cry.” That of course is my forte when watching a film.
I strolled into Screen 3 accompanied by my two young companions each clutching a bag of pop-corn. I expected to be bored to the limit but was pleasantly surprised when "17 Again" turned out to be about a divorce; more than co-incidence you might think, though Little Girl denied it.
Needless to say the storyline struck a chord and I found myself choking back the tears at the divorce hearing which only proves that even long-standing divorce lawyers are never inured to the process.
Whilst it wasn’t a movie that I would necessarily recommend to anyone over the age of 17, least of all if you are actually going through a divorce. There was, however, a strong moral message which may be of interest to those only in the process of considering separation. Married young, he blamed her for holding him back for 20 years and denying his opportunity to play college basketball; she him for not appreciating her for what she was. Against the background of divorce papers and a nostalgic trip back in time, however, there was a realisation as to why they had married in the first place and what it was that was really important to them both. With the benefit of hindsight, they had no wish to change their marital set up after all.
Saturday, 18 April 2009
I am not alone, for now is not only the season for couples to commit to each other through marriage vows but also for others to take legal advice concerning their perceived incompatibility and desire to divorce. Spring causes her to contemplate life without the constant need to pick up half empty mugs and dirty clothes scattered around the home and the desirability of that extra space presently turned over to his collection of “good” wood and “it will come in useful” plastic and metal bits. Conversely he begins to fantasise about a life without credit card bills incurred so far as he can see on adding more to already bulging wardrobes, overfilled bathroom shelves and all those perfumed candles on the window ledges.
Outdoor Man has a penchant for cardboard boxes in all shapes and sizes which we apparently might need one day, but which presently serve no purpose other than adding extra insulation to the loft and garage. During the course of my spring-clean, I had a brainwave. I suggested that I should take them to Latimer Hinks where any potential divorce client brought to breaking point by the state of their home could help themselves to a free receptacle to take rubbish to the tip. Not only would this clear space in my home but just imagine the extent to which others could be helped and the divorce rate in Darlington plummet. Outdoor Man is having none of it. They’re his and he’s keeping them. Forget his love of boxes; I think he just wants to keep me in work!
Thursday, 16 April 2009
Last Wednesday I began a week’s holiday with a journey of my own. It was across Switzerland and started in cloudy conditions at Zurich where I landed by plane. To begin with there was the mad panic of finding my way from airport arrivals to the appropriate station platform along with assorted pieces of baggage. Travelling through urban scenery there was the highlight of the first glimpse of a lake as the cityscape began to recede and the downside of changing trains with that heavy luggage to heave from one platform to another. My journey proceeded south-eastwards, climbing gradually into the mountains. The spring buds which had been in evidence in the UK before my journey began were non-existent and the countryside I passed through was still in the grip of winter. Whilst snow at the side of the tracks had thawed in some places, in others it resolutely remained, deep and frozen.
Arriving at my destination in the middle of the afternoon, however, the sky was blue and cloud-free; the sun was shining and the local inhabitants were smiling and welcoming as they helped with the luggage. Yes, my journey too was complete; I had arrived.
Monday, 6 April 2009
Saturday, 4 April 2009
There was a time when the biggest danger in drinking tea was being asked to read the tea leaves afterwards. These days, however, it seems that it needs to carry a Government Health Warning: “Divorcees beware, drinking tea can seriously damage your health.”
Friday, 3 April 2009
Thursday, 2 April 2009
Putting the decision into context it, of course, now hits on the head the possibility of all those who have paid over the odds for their spouse’s share in the family home, reclaiming part of the purchase price. It excludes those who hung onto equities from coming back as a result of their losses. It stops those who accepted cash, on the basis that it would earn massive sums in interest from which they could live without drawing the capital, from seeking more. It also prevents all those divorcees who just went and blew it at the races from seeking compensation because their horse didn’t come in!