Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Are the Family Courts biased against fathers?

This article in The Observer this Sunday suggests that they are and is well worth a read.

If you are a father seeking contact with your child the onus is on you to prove that increased time with the father is in the child's best interest. A visit to CAFCASS website describes what Residence and Contact are, and what the Courts are required to consider. It states that CAFCASS are neutral and there is no bias towards either parent.

The public policy has been that it is in the child's best interest to live with one parent and have regular contact with the other. Some states in America, such as Florida, take a different approach and the starting position on separation is 50/50. There has been an increase in Shared Residence Orders, ie the children are to live with both parents and not necessarily on a 50/50 basis.

For all you fathers out there who think this is too hard to achieve His Honour Mr Justice Mostyn gave judgement in Re AR (A child: Relocation) (2010 EWHC 1346 (Fam) at para 52

"I am clearly of the view that a joint or shared residence order should be made. Indeed, such an order is nowadays the rule rather that the exception even when the quantum of care undertaken by each parent is decidedly unequal. There is very good reason why such orders should be normative for they avoid the psychological baggage of right, power and control that attends a sole residence order, which was one of the reasons that we were ridden of the notions of Custody and control by the Act of 1989."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Would you stay with a cheat?

Seems it depends what else he/she has going for him. According to this article in the Daily Mail one wealthy surrey housewife has decided to stay with her husband as she cannot give up the lifestyle. Methinks they interviewed her too early. Even if she divorced him, it appears she would still have a lifestyle in excess of what she could have attained on her own steam without him.

Lots of people choose money and misery. Even more people choose money and misery initially. People do not seek happiness, they seek the least unhappy choice. Only when they get to the stage of realising that the status quo is the most unhappy option do they choose to leave.

For some it is a lifestyle choice. Some people regret staying married, some people regret getting divorced. I can think of a few high profile celebrities who have gone off the radar since their divorce, mentioning no names but they have gone to extremes as far as self promotion is concerned and they are still ignored!

If you are able to forgive your partner and move on then staying married may be the right option. What is important is to work out what you want. Implementing it is not easy but at least you are working towards your dreams.

What do you want?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Feel Like Killing Your Spouse?

Some people are full of rage. As The Guardian reports a man from Kentucky killed his wife and 5 others because he did not like the way she cooked his eggs. Mad definitely! Driven to it? Who knows. Were there warning signs? A neighbour is reported as saying that "he was always trouble".

How do you protect yourself in a violent relationship? If your safety is at risk leave immediately. Sadly, in all these cases it appears that there were warning signs, but people ignore them, or are too scared to act.

I know someone who resigned from his job because he could not live with the stress of worrying about being made redundant. I also know someone who left her husband and her home in her nightie in the middle of the night with nothing. Which of the above two would you say acted irrationally?

If you are in fear of your partner there are steps you can take to have your partner removed from the property. However, sometimes there simply is not time and it should be obvious that life itself is worth more than getting a better financial deal.

Lots of people put up with lots and lots of abuse. Some never report it to the Police and by the time they do it has escalated.

The advice is always the same:

Call the Police and go to the doctors to report any injuries and photograph the injuries in case you need to take civil action later.

The Police are there to help and have been told not to tolerate domestic violence.

If you have any suspicion that your partner may lose control and you cannot predict the consequences then remove yourself from the danger immediately.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Has Divorce got Easier?

Is divorce now acceptable? Expected even? It is certainly more affordable with the tax credits system. Some divorcing women are better off given the tax credit system, provided they have at least 2 children. Even if they only work 16 hours a week and earn only £500.00 per month, their tax credits are likely to be higher than their income and they get child support from their ex husband.

The tax credit system ignores the level of maintenance you receive from your ex, so in this respect it is non means tested.

The system encourages people to work only 16 hours. An increase in earned income can have a direct impact on the level of tax credits received so it is a disincentive for people to work full time.

What else? Oh yes, the non earning spouse is also usually entitled to legal aid.

There are reports that legal aid will no longer be available for Ancillary Relief (the financial aspect of divorce) and that tax credits are about to be revamped. David Cameron may well support marriage by the detour of making divorce financially unpalatable!!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Remember your wedding day?

If more people could focus on the time when they were madly in love there would be less divorce. Next time your spouse drives you mad remember his wedding speech... or perhaps not. I read somewhere that there was a fight at 1 in 8 weddings... and there are some hilarious videos on you tube if you are fed up or bored.

List 3 nice things your partner has done for you today.

List 3 nice things your partner has done for you this week.

Still can't think of anything? Ok list 3 nice things you have done for your partner today, this week or even this month. Maybe you are contributing just as much to the disintegration of your relationship.

You can change your own behaviour far easier than you can influence anyone else's. So if things are tough try changing your own behaviour first. Can't be bothered? Try calling me!!!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

There Is Something To Be Said For Getting On With It!!

Some people wait for their parents to die!

Some wait for the kids to leave home...

Some wait for the economy to improve...

Some even wait for their spouse to die!!!

Some wait for their relationship to improve....

Some wait until they meet someone else...

Some even wait for their partner to decide...

What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The secret to a long and happy marriage!!

I met a lovely, charming American couple in Paris this week who had been married for 57 years. They had 5 adult children, and had both had sufficiently successful careers to fund their extensive European travel.

What is your secret I asked?

Tenacity... he replied.

Not worrying about the small stuff... she replied.


Not easy then.

Perhaps before throwing away a marriage people should write a list of the issues...