Thursday, October 30, 2014
Nobody wants to see a bride cry but YES it is worth getting a Pre Nuptial Agreement.
It is one of the factors that will be taken into account upon divorce.
Is it decisive?
1. Both parties have been given the opportunity to take legal advice
2. Full financial disclosure has taken place
3. There has been no fraud or mistake
4. It is fair in the circumstance
5. There has not been a fundamental change since it was drafted
It is likely to be upheld.
It is soo unromantic...
My partner will say I do not love him/her if I ask for such a thing...
Here is your reply:
"Darling... I am sure you love me and are not marrying me simply for my money so there is no loss to you in signing this. I love you more than space and this will just prove to little, old insecure me that you love me too. You have no idea how awful it has been being pursued by gold diggers up until now. I am soo relieved that we have found each other and our love is real."
Use your own words but you get my drift...
Nobody gets married with the intention of divorce...
Actually that is not true. Gold diggers do and they are some of the best actors in town
I knew one decades ago. She was young, attractive, loud and confident. Not drop dead gorgeous but a 7 out of 10. She was dating a very, wealthy man. He was a 3 out of 10 if he was lucky and she had a mean nickname for him. Each time he saw her he bought her a designer handbag. She loved the bags but he thought she loved him. He had just got divorced. He had poured his heart out to her. He had married a beautiful blond and before they were married she was all over him. On their wedding night she said "Don't make a marathon of it." The tale gets worse and he caught her inflagrante and was recovering from a very expensive divorce. What did he do? Console himself with the next one.The only change he had made was the hair colour. It was another sad ending. I wanted to call and warn him but knew he would not believe me.
Don't let this happen to you. Get a pre nup. Call me...
Monday, September 15, 2014
The Little Book of Divorce Questions is available now on Amazon .
In an agony of indecision?
Making such a decision is usually choosing the least worst option. It is a bit like deciding whether to have an abortion - you don't want an abortion or a baby. Both choices are not what you planned in life. In order to escape choosing what you don't want you live on in anxiety and pain. Pondering, pondering... should I stay or should I go? For some people this process can go on for many years. They turn to addictions to support them - alcohol, food, shopping, work, exercise.
Information is power. Working out what your options are can help you decide what you want.
Often money is a major consideration - even the very rich don't want to be less rich and there are lots of extremely wealthy people who are still together because they don't want to split their empire. So a question to ask yourself:
If the genie was before you and doubled your assets so that you could both have what you have now - would you leave?
A question for the less wealthy:
If you won the lottery would you:
A. Use it to build a new life with your partner.
B. Split it 50/50 and divorce.
C. Hide it from your partner and divorce.
Your honest answer to the above will tell you what you want.
My new book will answer a lot more questions like this.
Making such a decision is not an easy one and sometimes people choose to stay together because they cannot face the thought of an uncertain future with insufficient money. At least you can make the decision and then live with it - rather than anxiously considering if you are doing the right thing all the time.
The choice to separate and divorce will affect the rest of your life - make an informed choice from a position of strength. try to give yourself a break from the pressure and to allow yourself to accept that you are not perfect and that divorce and separation is not a sign of failure but a sign of strength and growth.
There are lots of resources to help people cope. Counselling can be a great support - provided you find the right counsellor for you.
There are also lots of resources online to help your children Bastows Children's Page has some useful links.
Whatever choice you make - be kind to yourself. There are no mistakes in life - only lessons.
Thursday, August 07, 2014
How do you know if it is time to get divorced?
What should you do?
How do you decide?
What are the legal considerations?
What is the emotional impact?
If you are considering getting divorced this is one of the most difficult and traumatic decisions of your life. Bereavement is traumatic but it is not your decision. Choosing to divorce means taking the decision to radically change the course of your life and those closest to you. The emotional impact of such a decision should not be underestimated.
Extract from my new book:
If you have purchased this book, you are probably facing the agonising decision of whether to change your life dramatically and divorce your spouse. This is not a decision to be taken lightly or quickly. Most people agonise over this decision for many years. The process of indecision is the primary cause of pain. It is possible to uncover what you really want and assess whether remaining with your husband or wife, or divorcing them is the right decision for you.
The reason the decision is so painful is the fear of the unknown and the uncertainty as to whether either decision will be the right one. It can be compared to the agonising decision over an abortion. Many people end up in a position whether they neither want to have a child or an abortion. Uncovering your emotional response and the true choice which is the right outcome for you, is a similar process when you are getting divorced.
What choice are you facing? Whether to remain unhappily married or to obtain a divorce and face the future alone, perhaps without ever meeting another partner and perhaps being equally unhappy.
I hope that my book will help you work through one of the most important decisions you will ever have to make...
If the Answer is yes I do want to divorce... then The Little Book of Divorce is there to help you with the next step.
Saturday, August 02, 2014
The Government have decided to allow children to have a voice in the family courts. Where parents are arguing over what is best for their children the Governement will now allow the children themselves to voice their opinion direct to the Judge - rather than be interviewed by CAFCASS or ignored completely if no CAFCASS report is commissioned.
Is this a good idea?
Yes. The Government have selected the age of 10 because that is in line with other legislation - for example the criminal age of responsibility - if children are deemed old enough to take punishment for their actions they should be old enough to have a say in their own life.
A child's wishes and feelings are one of the factors to be taken into account when the court determines what is in the child's best interest. It is not necessarily determinative - a child not always knowing what is in their own best interest - for example most children would choose not to go to school or the dentist.
The factors taken into account are called the Welfare Checklist as detailed here Children Act Matters and include the following:
- The wishes and feelings of the child, in light of the child’s age and understanding. - The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs.
- The likely effect on the child of any change in their circumstances.
- The child’s age, sex, background and any characteristics the court considers relevant.
- Any harm the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering.
- How capable each of the child’s parent’s (and any other relevant person in relation to whom the court considers the question to be relevant) is of meeting the child’s needs.
- The range of powers available to the court.
Baroness Hale (as she was then) in Re D (a Child), A Hague Convention case, explains the importance of the views of a child in general terms, emphasising that it is the child more than anyone else who has to live with the reality of any order that the court makes:
‘There is a growing understanding of the importance to the children involved in children’s cases. It is the child, more than anyone else, who will have to live with what the court decides. Those who do listen to children understand that they often have a point of view which is quite distinct from that of the person looking after them. They are quite capable of being moral actors in their own right. Just as the adults may have to do what the court decides whether they like it or not, so may the child. But that is no more a reason for failing to hear what the child has to say than it is for refusing to hear the parent’s views’
The announcement of the legislation can be read here...Simon Hughes speech at the Voice of the Child Conference
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Here's what happens:
1. Mum wants to know every detail of who is travelling, where they are staying etc but thinks nothing of moving her new boyfriend into her home without dad being told anything about him.
2. Mum refuses to release the passport.
3. Mum refuses to allow the child to go skiing with dad.
4. Mum considers it is her right to veto what dad chooses to do.
5. Dad refuses to allow a change in the contact order (child care arrangements order Since April 2014) so that mum can take the children to Disneyland for 2 weeks
6. Dad refuses to allow the children to miss school and this is the only time mum can afford to go.
This is about the child's life. In every case if asked the child would respond:
"I want to go and I don't want to be in the middle and I don't want my parents to fight. It's all my fault - if I had not been born they would not be fighting".
If the parent's cannot agree there is only one solution - an emergency Court Application. This can be effective and Judges are well used to dealing with such disputes. The Government likes people to Mediate - particularly in Children Act Applications. Sometimes there is not time to Mediate. Sometimes the other party can deliberately delay matters with no intention of Mediating. Whatever the circumstances a Court Application can be made quickly if appropriate. Each case is decided on its own facts and the overriding principle is what is in the child's best interest. Where parent's views differ sometimes a judge is needed to decide.
Friday, July 04, 2014
Here is a post that was lying fallow in my draft box:
A Judge has expressed despair over a wealthy family that have legal fees in excess of £700,000.00 and their case is still focused on a preliminary issue as reported in The Telegraph
This is a long marriage of 43 years and involves the wife objecting to the husband gifting assets to their son which she deems unfair to her and her daughters. The husband lacks capacity and may need to be represented by the official solicitor. He is worth £50 million, so perhaps the cost of £500000 each to gain millions is a price worth paying, or maybe they just need to fight.
Litigation involves a dilemma of mindset. The wife has a claim. In simple terms her claim may be £80 out of a total of £100. She would accept £70. The husband believes she is due no more than £50 so he will risk £30 to avoid the guaranteed loss of £20. The wife will accept the guaranteed loss of £10 for the guaranteed gain of £20 in her offer. The closer the litigation gets the more likely the wife is to settle and the more likely the husband is to gamble.The dilemma of the defendant - although the risk of loss is a greater probability the thought of victory takes over.
What would you do if it was the last day of your life?
Settle or gamble?
Family litigation is a gamble.
Life is a game.
Make sure you are playing by the same rules. When the knives are out they are out and turning back can become an impossibility.
You may win but at what cost? And I am not talking about money...
What I do:
Outline the best and worst case.
Give you the odds.
Give my advice and opinion.
If you pay for advice the choice of whether you follow it or not is yours... after all it is only money.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Britain's most acrimonious divorce continues.
Scot Young is facing some tough questions.
Is he bankrupt or is he a liar hiding vast wealth?
Whatever he appears too clever for his own good.
As reported in the The Telegraph he is facing this interrogation due to financial irregularities.
What is unusual:
1. He owes people vast sums of money but they are supporting him financially.
2. Seems odd that they don't therefore lend or give him some money for legal representation.
3. He is accused of faking his own bankruptcy.
4. His wife has uncovered what appears confidential documents and is able to rely on them.
5. He gave his daughter an old laptop. Even if he was broke this does not make sense.
6. His business connections and friends are being made to give evidence.
His wife is prepared to settle for £300 million and her legal fees paid. Is that a touch greedy maybe? What message does this case give to wealthy individuals contemplating marriage?
How will they extract the money from Mr Young even if he is found to be lying? He has already shown that he is prepared to go to prison.
What if he is not lying? How will his wife's lawyers get paid? Not sure anyone will be worrying about them but the whole case appears a gamble from both sides.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Reasons people stay in relationships that are not working:
1. Fear of change.
2. Fear of loneliness.
3. Fear of the unknown.
4. Loss - of money, family, friends and social life and the life that they know.
Reasons people don't try to improve relationships that are not working:
5. Fear of change
There is a report in The Telegraph that states that divorce and separation costs the country £50 billion per annum. There is a suggestion that the government should set up a national relationship strategy, what ever that means.
In order to save money and potentially help people make an informed choice I suggest the following:
1. Make divorce easy and remove the seven step antiquated procedure and instead offer divorce on the ground that one party wants to divorce.
2. Make every couple attend one session with a relate counselor before filing the petition. Free to everyone.
Counselors do not tell people what to do, they do not tell people to leave, they do not tell people to stay in unhappy relationships. A good counselor will help people uncover whether their relationship is worth saving or whether it is over.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Mum wants you to be a vegetarian and dad thinks you need the protein from meat.
Mum wants you not to go skiing and dad wants to take you on a skiing holiday.
Mum wants you not to have treatment for your brain tumour.
Mum wants you not to see dad's girlfriend.
Dad wants you to join scouts.
Mum wants you to be brought up a strict catholic.
Mum wants you to go to private school.
The list can go on forever. There is opportunity to argue about every aspect of a child's life and it can cause problems when couples are still together. But what when they separate? Who wins?
Each parent has parental responsibility and has a right to their view being taken account of in important aspects of a child's life - schooling, religion. Day to day decisions are left to the parent whom the child is with - so dad can set a different bedtime and diet if he wishes.
Some people refuse to share this parenting role and the children are put in an impossible position.
In a recent case reported in The Telegraph a mother would not allow her 5 year old son to see his father because she wanted him to be a vegetarian and was worried the father would feed him meat. The Judge has threatened to remove the child from the mother's care if she does not support contact with the father.
Adjusting to two sets of rules is hard for children.
Living between parents who hate each other is hard for children.
Choosing between parents is hard for children.
It is obvious so one can assume that all parents know this, but for some their priorities are on punishing their ex and not their children's welfare.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
More people over 60 are getting divorced, which is the opposite trend to the rest of the nation's age groups.
The Telegraph cites the following reasons:
1. People are living longer so don't want to stay forever in an unhappy relationship. (Not if you have another 30 years left anyway...).
2. Less stigma attached to divorce (surely that has been the case for 30 plus years?).
3. That old silver fox... men with a wandering eye syndrome. (I blame viagra).
I have a few ideas of my own:
1. There are more people married who are 60 plus as marriage becomes less popular so the 60 plus age group makes up a bigger slice of a diminishing cake.
2. Some of these are second or third divorces.
3. Companionship has been replaced by gadgets.
4. Relatives are now encouraging them to divorce as opposed to pressurising them to stay together.
5. Religion has lost it's standing in our society, for the white ethnic group of which a large majority of the 60 plus age group will be.
6. The state will support you again. There is a void when people's children leave home where they are forced to be more financially independent of state support unless they are in the benefit system per se.
7. Options... the world has opened up a lot more.
Fascinating. There are lots of reasons why people divorce at whatever age. However, divorce can only happen when one or both parties no longer place a value on the relationship.