Wednesday, 24 February 2010


When going through divorce there are many reasons why the vows made on a wedding day can come back to haunt. Take for instance the case yesterday in the Court of Appeal when it upheld the judgment against Mrs Marano made last year, ordering her to pay £5 million towards her ex-husband’s property losses.

“For richer or poorer,” has a certain resonance, and the case serves as a timely reminder in these economically challenging times, that fortunes can go either way. Whilst assets which accrue during a marriage can be shared on divorce, so too can debts.

Saturday, 20 February 2010


Someone accused me yesterday of not blogging as often as I used to. “I’ve been busy at work,” I explained.

“Too much work makes Jack a dull boy and Jill a dull girl,” I was told.

At least it set me thinking as I recalled the nursery rhyme:
Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water,
Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.
Up Jack got and home he trot as fast as he could caper.
He went to bed to mend his head, with vinegar and brown paper.

Were Jack and Jill dull together? Is that how they got on? Did she tend to his injuries and make a devoted caring nurse? Alternatively, did Jill resent Jack taking to his bed with a graze on his forehead when she was covered in painful bruises from her own fall? Was the vinegar on the pillowcase she’d only just washed and ironed the final straw, and was she off to see a divorce solicitor the next morning?

Enough of this pointless rambling, I have work to return to (and a meal to cook for Outdoor Man). Also I’m now reliably informed that the rhyme was about King Louis XVI being beheaded, with Queen Marie Antoinette not far behind. In that context, and despite the happier ending it was given for children to chant, there are times when divorce can be a preferable outcome!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


When speaking to clients in my capacity as a divorce solicitor, I have learned the hard way that it is always important to check the date and be prepared to discover you are talking at cross-purposes.

Once upon a time in the days when High Streets closed on Shrove Tuesday for pancake races, I recall conversing with a client. She worked part-time and had taken to ringing me during her coffee break at work on Tuesday mornings.

“He’s a tosser,” she fumed on this particular day. “He’s flipped 3 times already this morning!”
I held my tongue but wondered whether I should be suggesting that she call Mental Health.

When she told me that she had left him on the ceiling, I felt I had to broach the prospect of medical assistance and delicately suggested that maybe she should involve his GP.

“What, to scrape a pancake down from the kitchen ceiling?” she responded in astonishment!

Friday, 12 February 2010


Oh dear – spare a thought for we divorce lawyers destined to be seeking new careers if the latest statistics on marriages are anything to go by. According to the Office for National Statistics yesterday, the provisional number of marriages registered in England & Wales in 2008 shows a decline to 232,990; that’s the lowest figure since 1895 when the population was of course considerably smaller. Should I be viewing these statistics as a threat or an opportunity? What could I train to do next?

Friday, 5 February 2010


I hear Awkward, Vicious and C.U. Incourt, solicitors, are to run a new advertising campaign:-

“Ladies does the time your husband devotes to the hallowed game of football give you cause for consternation and despair? Fear not; inspired by events at national level, there is a route for revenge: Allege adultery; get him demoted!”

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


On Sunday, Outdoor Man and I went walking on the North Yorkshire Moors. All week I had watched the hills glistening under a cover of snow and the trip followed an idealised notion on my part that I fancied walking on it. How ridiculous; after all it is only 2 weeks since that blanket that had lain for a full 5 weeks right on my doorstep finally melted. However, clearly a fortnight is all it takes to make me forget the bitter cold, the slipping as I trod gingerly across thick ice, the wet gloves (from the snowballs) and the tingling to my nose and cheeks as they peeped out from between layers of wool and Gore-Tex. Oh it certainly looked pretty but we didn’t get far before I felt I had earned a right to complain and moan about my stupidity.

Why is it that so many people are condemned to a romantic notion of attraction, never learning from previous experiences but instead repeating them?

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


When undergoing the trauma of marriage or relationship breakdown counselling is often a sensible option to help cope with the trauma and its effect on one’s emotional well-being. Lack of confidence and poor self esteem are not uncommon, especially after an abusive relationship. When a marital bond disintegrates, identity and self worth stemming from it disintegrate too and depression can set in. Some hardy souls pick up the pieces and get on with things. For many the transition back to a feeling of normality can take much longer and support is needed.

For those who decide that counselling is the proper option for them the problem can be finding the right counsellor. There are apparently no laws in the UK that govern counselling, and whilst there are qualifications and professional bodies, these can often be confusing and overwhelming. Counselling can take many different approaches, from person-based to psychoanalytic, and it’s important to choose a counsellor with an approach you will be comfortable with and respond to well. So how on earth do you find a counsellor to fit your situation?

I have recently been referred to Counselling Directory and it appears to be a simpleway of connecting people that need help with the people that provide it. A comprehensive search tool allows postcode, town and country searches, and produces a list of counsellors registered in this area. Each counsellor has a profile about themselves and the site shows which counsellors are registered/accredited with a professional body. Importantly I understand that full profiles are only displayed after insurance and qualification documents are checked or membership with a professional body has been verified.

There are also articles on the site written by the counsellors, as well as comprehensive information on all kinds of distress: from depression to eating disorders, to help people identify their problems and become informed, not scared.