Sunday, 29 January 2012

THE FINAL FRONTIER






It seems even Trekkies aboard the Starship Enterprise are not immune from the effect of divorce. Tony Alleyne in Leicestershire has spent 10 years transforming the flat in which he lives into a replica of the famous Starship, but now his ex-wife is insisting on its sale. Mr Alleyne is reported by the BBC as describing the thought of living in “a conventional environment” as “quite scary.” No doubt, divorce and spaceship behind him, Mr Alleyne will boldly go where many other divorcees have gone before him and find alternative rented accommodation.


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

SAY IT WITH A COCKROACH



I see New York’s Bronx Zoo is repeating what is now becoming an annual Valentine gesture reported on this blog last year Yes once again couples are being encouraged to name a cockroach after their loved one. However, this year if that doesn’t appeal you can give them a cocoa-roach. Mmm delicious, but it does make you wonder what they would sell to a couple who are divorcing or maybe this is a line the zoo hasn’t thought of yet!


Monday, 23 January 2012

KUNG HEI FAT CHOI






Midnight heralded in the Chinese New Year. With hundreds of lanterns, fireworks and beating drums, the celebrations can be an impressive spectacle. Moreover the animal symbols for each year are distinctive and can on occasions influence even the reason for and style of divorce that I am called to advise on.


So 2011 gave rise to the rabbit, defined as the ex who becomes pregnant with quads within days of her divorce decree.


In 2010 it was the tiger, or rather the cunning husband, stalking his terrified prey and spoiling for the kill.


In 2009 we saw the ox; big, beefy and whose sheer size is intimidating.


In contrast, the year before it was the rat who told his wife he loved her before sliding off down a drainpipe with the lady across the road.


Five years ago, of course, it was simply the pig. A term covering all manner of transgressions by an unthinking, unkind or abusive spouse.


So what can we expect in 2012? The Year of the Dragon has me trembling with trepidation already. Will collaborative practice and compromise go out of the window as unjustifiable demands are presented in an inflammatory and demanding way? Will the flames be fanned and will I be asked to fight fire with fire? If I am it will, of course, be a retrograde step. Instead I sincerely hope that anyone contemplating divorce this year has made a New Year’s resolution to behave in a calm and dignified manner and to collaborate to find a workable solution that will suit the whole family .


Thursday, 19 January 2012

CRIME OF PASSION



I was stunned today when somebody said to me that they’d read in the newspaper that if your wife had been unfaithful you’d be let off if you killed her for it! Now our criminal justice system might be constantly criticised for being too lenient, but it is never that much so. No, some of the headlines accompanying reports of the test cases on the new defence of “Loss of Control” to a murder charge were seriously misleading.

I am not a criminal lawyer and the points argued in the cases were somewhat technical but briefly, as I understand the position, if you calculatingly kill your spouse for sexual infidelity it is murder and the court must impose a life sentence upon you. If, however, that sexual infidelity is accompanied by a qualifying trigger leading you to lose your self control in circumstances where anyone similar would also have lost control, then you may have a defence. In the one test case that succeeded, the appellant’s murder conviction was quashed but he has gained a re-trial only and remains in custody. He argued that the infidelity was coupled with potentially provocative factors including his wife’s taunts about her sexual partners and the graphic descriptions that she gave him. This led to his loss of control manifesting itself in the killing. If successful, however, that defence does no more than reduce the crime from murder to manslaughter.

Either way the perpetrator of a crime of passion is going to spend many years behind iron bars. Believe me, if your spouse is having an affair, divorce has to be the more rational option.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

CATCHING THEM OUT






When you travel around this globe of ours, it is always comforting to find an affinity with places that you have never previously visited. I experienced exactly this in Malaysia at the beginning of the month when I spotted the taxi above. Mind I don’t know how successful they are at catching cheating spouses. I can’t help thinking that if the chase were to be carried out in that taxi, the sign on the back might just be a give-away.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

DIVORCE EXHIBITS



I returned from holiday in Malaysia yesterday after a long haul flight with KLM. At some point mid-air, my attention was drawn to an article in the in-flight magazine, Holland Herald, referring to the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb. A quick check of the website on my return would suggest that this must be a Mecca for divorcees and their lawyers everywhere. Apparently it “offers a chance to overcome an emotional collapse through creation: by contributing to the museum’s collection.” That collection, according to KLM’s magazine, includes such items as a damaged garden gnome that one spouse hurled through a car windscreen and an axe that another man used to chop up his girlfriend’s possessions when she terminated their relationship.



The museum has recently been given an award for innovation and, if all of that wasn’t enough to entice you to visit, has a cafĂ© where visitors have a chance to pull themselves together “after an emotional whirlwind caused by the exhibition.”



Even better the museum will apparently be exhibiting at the National Centre for Craft and Design in Sleaford, Lincolnshire from January 28th until April of this year. Of course if it doesn’t take your fancy, you can always try the V&A or, my own favourite, the National History Museum.