Sunday, November 28, 2010

Judge says Punish Mothers who Refuse Fathers Contact with their Children

A Family Law Judge talks of 3 strikes and you are out in The Daily Mail

In other words if a mother refuses Contact with the father and defies a Court Order 3 times the children are moved to live with the father.

Problems with this approach:

1. Children suffer more - it does not work if the child is adamant that he wishes to remain with the mother and have no contact with the father. A recent case put a child in foster care and then had to return him to his mother as the child was so depressed.

2. Fathers who do not want their children to live with them - perhaps they have no room - the mother got the house maybe to accommodate the children in the divorce and the father has work commitments.

3. There could be valid reasons why Contact is being flouted

This is yet another punitive approach.

More resources should be channelled towards educating the parents - such as the Parenting Courses now available via the Courts.

What about a general acceptance that sometimes adult issues prevent children having a sustained and healthy relationship with either parent and that some people are just not very nice? After all if they do that to their own children how do they treat strangers?

There seems to be a focus in our society on people pursuing their own selfish ends and an obsession with their rights.

My suggestion:

There should be a presumption of Contact on Separation of at least every other weekend and the onus should be on the resident parent to show why this should not take place. Let us not forget how damaging and prevalent Domestic Violence is and the Courts should be able to assess the risk of this. After all that is their job!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Is it worth getting a Consent Order?

Yes if you want peace of mind!!

Getting divorced is not enough.

A lottery winner paid his ex wife who he had been divorced from for 10 years £2 million in an out of Court settlement as reported in The Daily Mail

What is a Consent Order?

It is the legal document which finalises financial arrangements on Divorce. It is the only way to obtain finality and to prevent your spouse having a future claim it needs a clean break clause.

I explain it more fully here Bastows Divorce Solicitors

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Want to set aside your divorce settlement?

A father and son are in Court arguing over whether the £5.1 million paid to the deceased mother upon divorce should be varied. In this tragic case as reported in The Independent the mother died months after the divorce case was finalised, with the father retaining the business assets. He is now being sued for potentially £3 million and claims that this is an intervening event, that his wife is now dead and does not need the money and that the claim relates to when they were joint owners ( He may well have indemnified her on that point as would be a normal precaution).

Life is unpredictable. The wife dying within months is potentially an intervening event. The damages claim is potentially an intervening event. The matter was brought to the Court's attention early. Is it fair to amend? The son says no. The father took on the risk and potential gains of the business.

Glad he's not my son.

The tragedy of this case is that the father and son are fighting over money. I can never imagine trying to get money from my father. I can never imagine my children trying to get money from me. Relationships like that are worth more than £5 million pounds.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Family Legal Aid to be Cut

So Ken Clarke announced today no more Legal Aid for Private Family Law cases unless they involve domestic violence, forced marriage or risk of children being taken into care as reported in The Guardian

What does this mean to individuals seeking divorce who cannot afford to instruct a solicitor?

No Legal Representation?

What does this mean to the solicitors who previously offered Legal Aid and can no longer offer the above services? Maybe they will agree to do the work at Legal Aid rates provided they get their fees from any monies gained?

Maybe all divorcing couples will be forced to Mediate unless there is Domestic Violence?

What will happen when Alternative Business Structures enter the arena next October?

Free fall in prices maybe?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Thinking of washing less? Want a divorce?

This article in today's Guardian reports that a growing number of people are washing less! A new ultimatum may result:

"It's me or the planet!!!"

I predict an increase in divorce if this environmentally friendly soap dodging catches on!!