Monday, April 21, 2008

Does it matter who divorces who?

Sometimes it matters a lot. If you are the petitioner you have control of the proceedings and the respondent can only stop the divorce under very limited circumstances and if the petition is based on certain facts.

The respondent can defend the divorce. However, a bare defence that the marriage has not broken down is unlikely to succeed. The respondent can defend and cross petition, that is, the marriage has broken down but it is your fault not mine. Typically a compromise is reached and both parties proceed on their own petition.

What if the petitioner does not bother to apply for decree absolute? The respondent can apply after 3 months but this requires a hearing, is costly, causes delay and is not clear cut.

What of the people who have separated for years, are in new long term relationships but still do not start divorce proceedings - demanding that the other one do so because of the costs? The consequences of not divorcing can be extreme - especially if you have jointly owned assets.

Who petitions has no bearing on the matrimonial finances unless the circumstances are exceptional but it can have an impact on how matters progress. In the vast majority of cases this is not a problem. The unfortunate thing is that when it is a problem it becomes a very big problem!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Do not believe everything your child says

I wasted 2 hours on Saturday trying to access a website for my 5 year old son, who's magic code was rejected. He insisted to me that his user name was "Bobthe". I could not get him on line and sent 6 e mails requesting help. I got 6 replies today and his user name was a very bad spelling of chocolate cake. I am going to buy him one and let him eat it all!!!!

When he returns from his father he claims he is starving having eaten nothing for 2 days, that he can go to bed when he likes etc.

Children sometimes forget, sometimes make things up and sometimes lie. It is best to filter what they tell you, and if anything causes concern then to raise it with your ex partner in a non confrontational manner.

Different households have different rules. Give your children a break. They may come back from dad's and slam the fridge door because that is the only way it closes at dad's. They may forget to take their shoes off because mum does not make them. They may leave the toilet seat up because they have been visiting dad! Imagine how hard it is for children having to learn 2 sets of rules - none of which are their own!!!!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

How to tell if she no longer loves you

You google search this question.

Oh dear, men sometimes end up on the wrong end of a divorce petition and they do not understand why. It is important to read the clues and here are two massive ones which men miss all the time:

1. You no longer have sex.

2. You sleep in the spare bedroom.

Both of these are not because of her bad back, your snoring, her tiredness, stress at work, the recent death of her aunt etc. None of these excuses would stand in her way if George Clooney was on offer!!!!!!!!!!

What can you do:

1. Persuade her to see a sex therapist or at least a relationship counsellor

2. Resign yourself to celibacy until she decides to end the relationship

3. Have an affair

4. Initiate divorce proceedings yourself

Monday, April 07, 2008

How to tell if he no longer loves you

You google search this question.

If in doubt ........... get out

If in doubt...........don't

The first relates to relationships the second to clothes shopping.

There are a hundred clues that he no longer loves you and they are all swimming in your head are a few examples:

He is very impatient with you.

He raises his eyebrows a lot when you speak.

He talks to you as if you are thick and you are the one with 2 degrees.

He refuses to have any more work done on the house.

He does not talk to you... not even about football.

He is no longer prepared to do things with your friends and family.

He no longer fancies you - this is a big give away and loving you like a friend is not enough.

What can you do to get love back?

Lots of things but first decide if this is what you really want. The balance of power in a relationship can shift overnight if you want it to......... all you need to do is change your behaviour and stop focusing on his.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

What is a Shared Residence Order?

A Shared Residence Order is a stipulation that the child lives with both parents. They are becoming more popular and more and more fathers are asking for them. Why?

1. They equalise the power between the parties.
It is all very well to state that both parents share parental responsibility but in practice this normally means that the resident parent makes most of the day to day decisions that effect a child's life. The other parent can and should be involved in important decisions like schooling but practically the parent with whom the child resides will normally have more influence.

2. A Shared Residence Order does not have to be on a 50/50 basis. The child can live with one parent more often but still live with the other the rest of the time.

3. Some judges don't like them and call them just a label...... that's all very well but to some people the label is very important. Rather like a child's name - the Court's tend to assume that it is very important for a child to retain a link with the non resident parent via a shared surname. Somewhat sexist as the non resident parent tends to be the father but if having his name will encourage Contact then.......

4. They used to be rare because it was considered that they would only work in a situation of close cooperation. Now judicial opinion has taken a turn in the opposite direction and they are granted in situations of high conflict - to force the parents to get along. Feels a bit like social engineering.

5. There are many, many women struggling to bring up their children alone who would love the father to become more involved but they have no voice in the Courts as the Courts will not order a parent to fulfil his/her parental responsibility in respect of Contact. Conversely there are many many dads fighting to see more of their children. Perhaps a Shared Residence Order should become the norm.................l