Thursday, March 29, 2007

Want Out?

Lots of people call me up and say they are thinking about getting divorced. I usually tell these people to try to change something else, their job, their relationship (go to counselling, do something different together, be nice to each other), their social life. At this stage there is still a chance to save your marriage.

There is a big difference between thinking about getting divorced, because you're bored, because you fancy someone else, because your partner has put on weight and you don't fancy them any more, etc and knowing that you want a divorce........

Friday, March 23, 2007

The CSA and it's self professed success

The CSA claims that it has increased the number of absconding fathers it is eking money out of.

You can check out the figures for yourself on their website:


But in the past year they issued 12,900 liability orders, 13,000 non resident parents were taken to court and 23,000 were investigated by a private debt collection agency. A further 400 non resident parents were either sent to prison or given a suspended sentence

Sounds quite a lot but what is the context? A read of the executive summary of the CSA report produced by the Work and Pensions Department in December 2006 states:

1. The CSA handles 1.4 million cases

2. Of these 750 000 non resident parents are not liable.
Why not?

3. Of the remaining 650 000 only 455 000 paid either through the CSA or a voluntary arrangement.

4. That leaves 195 000 non resident parents who were found to be liable but were not paying.

The interesting statistics are;

1. Of the 195,000 non payers you know of how many are still non payers?

2. Of the 750,000 who are not liable how many is it because they have no income? How many is it because they are not the biological parent? Of this second group how many real parents have you found?

3. Does it still cost you 78 pence for every pound you collect or is it higher given the increased enforcement action?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Are you scared of your partner?

Is this you? Does he control what you eat? Who you see and what you wear? Does he control the remote, criticise your friends and family and expect you to do all the housework but complain about the creases in his shirts? Does he tell you that you are mad when you go crazy like a caged animal because he insists that you watch the football with him which you hate? Does he tell you off for being sulky when you are quiet and wary and for being boring when you tell him about your day? Do your friends and family love him? Is he charming in a room full of strangers, successful, affectionate towards you but manages to jokingly put you down in front of everyone? Does he make you feel unattractive in private but will punch a waiter for looking at you? Does he laugh at you when you try to explain how unhappy you are? Does he stand too close when he loses his temper? Do the children jump when they hear his voice?

Is this you? If it is read this book:

Inside the minds of angry and controlling men
by Lundy Bancroft.

Then tell one person about your situation. Anyone, a friend , a solicitor, Citizens Advice, your GP, the police, but once you voice your fears you are one step towards changing your life for the better.

There are a minority of men out there who are similarly abused. Rather like male rape this is a taboo subject and the victim is undermined by being called henpecked. Unfortunately, the same advice applies to you. No matter how embarrassing, tell someone.. ...............

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Marry Your Equal

Apparently 80% of divorces are not mutual, in other words 4/5ths of people on the receiving end of a divorce petition did not want it to happen. Given that 70% of divorces are filed by women, this would suggest that there are a lot of unhappy men out there trying to work out what went wrong. Maybe you married the wrong person? Maybe you could never make a woman happy because you are too controlling, selfish (add in what suits, a quick flick through the divorce petition might help to work it out)? Or maybe marriage is just too hard?

What about marrying your equal next time?

Someone with the same amount of cash as you, the same intelligence, the same looks, the same career prospects. I thought this was a great idea and my single friends discussed it to death. One even went on a retreat and compiled a shopping list for a man. I must admit, I thought she was being over fussy as the list was longer than my weekly food shop, but ........ she has found a man that ticks all the boxes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Fingers crossed it works out for them.

Anyway, I realised that marrying your equal does not guarantee success any more than marrying a tycoon or the milkman. This hit home when I read the following article in the


It's about movie stars marrying movie stars and the difficulty of keeping a marriage together in Hollywood.

The main point seems to be that although madly in love to begin with they fell out of love.

Why do people get divorced?............. because they don't love each other any more. Sad but true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Smoking and Divorce

I started smoking when I got divorced. This is a common behaviour and after 21 days becomes established as a habit. I also met some new single friends and the problem escalated as they all smoked too. I am a genuine social smoker, i.e. I only smoke in my local pub with my 6 smoking buddies. In July the law is due to change, people will no longer be allowed to smoke in bars, so I plan to use this as a leverage to give up. Given that I only smoke about 6 cigarettes a week, it should be easy, but it is not.

If you are going through a divorce and separation you may feel the urge to do something different. Smoking provides instant satisfaction, an air of rebellion and the illusion that it reduces your anxiety. Remember Death cigarettes? They were a big hit with the rebellious youth.

People going through divorce are looking for short term fixes and ignore the fact that smoking is ageing (I never buy the packets that say they age your skin, only the ones that say they will kill you) smoking smells horrible and is a threat to your health. You may be so distraught that the thought of shortening your life is pleasant.

How about becoming a vegetarian instead?

You will meet with universal disapproval (rebellion) grow to love beans and discover your favourite fruit (instant satisfaction) and eating healthily will actually reduce your anxiety!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Over my Dead Body!!!!!!!!!!

Is this you? A deal is reached, a good deal, financially it works for you, but then the other side launches their emotional missile.


1. You stand to gain at least £80.000.00 but their last minute request that you pay their costs of £2,000.00 means the whole thing is off and you would rather go to Court. Why? I ain't paying their costs you answer. Why not, you will still be £78,000.00 better off? I ain't paying their costs and I would rather go to Court and lose everything. And here's the scary thing...... you mean it!!!!!!!!!!!!

2. Your ex spouse is somewhat controlling over when and where you see the children. However, you do actually see them as much as you want, she has never refused a request just made a bit of a fuss about it. The problem is you are tres irritated by her attitude that she acts as if she is doing you a favour by allowing you to see your own children. What do you do? Send a stinky solicitor's letter insisting on Contact taking place when you want and add in a barbed comment about her social life for good measure. The result? You will still see the children when you want but even more of a fuss will be made and perhaps your ex partner's boyfriend will now deal with the handovers.

There are many more examples of the need to win emotionally over ruling the practical reality. It is easy for someone else to spot the syndrome, social workers talk about a boil needing to be lanced, a fight that needs to happen, but meanwhile you are ready to explode with self righteous indignation at your spouse's behaviour!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Look at Paul and Heather McCartney. What's that all about? Certainly not about getting divorced. It's about engaging in a duel and they appear determined to slog it out regardless of the emotional, professional and financial impact. At each stage people are advised how to settle matters amiably and some people simply need to fight. If that's you good luck. A positive side effect will be that you lose weight. A negative will be that you start smoking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 09, 2007

If you need cheering up!

If your separation is getting you down try reading some humorous non related blogs.

I am grateful to John Bolsh of Family Lore for his post referring to Babybarista! This is amusing and cutting and may well help divert you from your anxieties about your divorce!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Why is £20 million not enough?

The case of Charman returns to Court next week with John Charman arguing that £48 million is too much for his wife. He offered her £20 million and he complains in the

that she has given no explanation as to why that is not enough. He also adds that he stayed with her for the sake of the children, very hurtful for her and them to make such an announcement no doubt and perhaps Mrs Charman's view is that she deserves more money for remaining married to him for so long.

Their grievance aside, it does seem odd that in such large money cases stellar contribution is not given more consideration. I know many people who work extremely hard and who are very bright but live without the financial success that Mr Charman has enjoyed. His skills are rare, otherwise we'd all be multi millionaires.

The other side of the argument, about giving equal weight to the home maker becomes ridiculous when the earnings rise exponentially. I know some rich Surrey wives who spend their time shopping and beautifying themselves, have a nanny, housekeeper, aupair, gardener and chauffeur have never been to finishing school and could not boil an egg, spend their husband's money on lavish holidays flirting with other men and yet when they get divorced......

The answer to anyone with assets is don't get married without a pre nuptial agreement and get divorced at the first sign of trouble!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or .......emigrate. There is a gap in the market for a survey of the divorce regimes throughout the globe and the most advantageous ones for the seriously rich.