Wednesday, 24 August 2011


Originally uploaded by zimpenfish

Dear Agony Aunt

I have been in a loveless marriage for the last 10 years and had finally made an appointment with a solicitor in order to start divorce proceedings. I weigh 20 stones and have read this week that divorcing will mean I gain even more pounds. What should I do; I can’t continue to live with my husband but also can’t risk damaging my health by adding to my obesity?


Dear Janet

Despite what you have read in the newspapers, the study which was undertaken by Ohio University actually found that whilst marital transition causes women to gain weight following marriage, it is men who are more likely to add to their girth on divorce. In contrast most women actually lose weight dealing with the trauma of separation. Therefore you should go for it girl, get to that appointment and shed your fat!

Yours truly,

Agony Aunt

Dear Agony Aunt

I am a forty something male, recently separated and piling on the stones in the run up to my divorce. How do I cure this? Should I ask my wife to come back?


Dear Roly Poly

Definitely not. Just buy yourself a recipe book, cancel the takeaways and get yourself down to the gym. Your good wife left you for a reason and now you have to learn how to look after yourself properly and without recourse to convenience foods laden with calories.

Kind regards

Agony Aunt

PS. To all my readers out there – anyone for doughnuts?

Monday, 22 August 2011


Many people accuse lawyers of using incomprehensible words and phrases not otherwise employed in the daily use of the English language. Herewiths and hereuntobefores are accordingly and justifiably frowned upon. Resolution has, therefore, worked hard to try to deliver for family lawyers precedents for courts orders and deeds that whilst unambiguous, remain clear and so far as possible are written in everyday English. That said even those precedents have struggled to rid themselves of useful catch-alls like wheresoever, howsoever and whatsoever.

The other evening I found myself in the right place at the wrong time and was asked to sign a confidentiality agreement as a result. I believe the person who handed it to me must have been from Mars or some other galactic species. Gone were the “howsoever wheresoevers” and yet I fully understood that never must word of what I had seen or heard be divulged when I read: “Forever anywhere in the Universe.” I wonder what the family courts would think if solicitors began to adopt that kind of terminology when drafting orders?

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


I read today about the bride who didn’t know she was getting married until she arrived at what she had understood to be a retirement party. I have to confess I wasn’t convinced, or at least not until I watched the video; it wasn’t a YouTube spoof was it? I say that because in all my years practising family law, I haven’t yet come across anyone claiming they were coerced into a quickie marriage ceremony. Is that because grooms don’t normally arrange such things or because the would-be brides refuse to go through with the formalities? After all there has to be plenty of scope for this most romantic of gestures to fall completely flat on its face when the intended betrothed declines to proceed.

It’s much more likely, of course, that one half of a couple will spring a separation on their unsuspecting partner rather than a wedding. How many times do divorce lawyers find themselves attending a client who only found out their soul-mate was leaving from a note on the mantelpiece or kitchen table? Even worse there are some cowards who, whilst continuing to live with their spouse, get their solicitor to send a letter for them. Not only does that give a whole new meaning to the phrase “a solicitor’s letter,” it reflects badly on the client and lawyer who act in such a way and in so doing show a complete lack of understanding of the effect on the unsuspecting partner.

How easily the unexpected can become a traumatic shock.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


Well I knew it wouldn’t be long before our high divorce rate and single families were invoked as one of the reasons behind the mindless criminal rioting and violence that has gripped so many of Britain’s cities in the last few days. To quote from one source: “Many involved seemed to fit a picture of youngsters from broken families marginalised by society.”

Others of course have been identified as a teaching assistant, a chef, a graphic designer, a fork-lift truck driver, a car salesman, a university student and so the list goes on. Broken homes my foot; these people were greedy and opportunistic, rightly deserving to be punished by our criminal justice system.