Sunday, 27 April 2014

Saints and Sinners



The Pope declared two of his predecessors to be saints today in a ceremony attended by thousands.

Although undoubtedly not truly worthy of canonisation, it is surprisingly not uncommon in solicitors’ offices  across the land for one divorcing spouse to refer to the other as a saint for putting up with them for so long. Alternatively I have acted for people who have told me that they consider themselves to be saints for accepting the behaviour of their other half, sometimes for decades.

In the context of a marriage break up, I don’t know how often the concept of sainthood is actually discussed directly. Certainly I cannot recall receiving a letter suggesting: “Our client believes your client to be a saint for enduring him/her and his/her behaviour.”


Collaborative law is different. Sometimes it provides just that opportunity for one or both to endeavour to acknowledge their shortcomings and the hurt caused. Whilst hearing that may not result in forgiveness, it can nevertheless enable a couple to work together towards resolving their settlement terms.


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