Friday, February 25, 2011

What is a Dad?

According to The Guardian a United Nations report states that the role of fatherhood is changing and needs to be redefined. Many children are now brought up in extended families, where they live with a stepfather, or a series of stepfathers and obtain their male guidance from various male relatives in the absence of their biological father. The phrase used to describe these men who live apart from their own children and bring up other children is "social fatherhood". This sounds more like "disposable fatherhood" to me.

What about "virtual fatherhood" for those fathers who have an online family or "substitute fatherhood" for those surrogate dads and "absent fatherhood" for sperm donors?

What about those men who would like to have a shared care arrangement with their own children and be a father, without having to have the mother's permission when to see their children? Are we still to call them "non resident fathers" ?

I feel the focus is wrong....

Monday, February 21, 2011

Divorce Rate Falls Again!!!

According to the Office of National Statistics the number of divorces in England and Wales has fallen for the sixth year running.

In 2009 67% of divorce petitions were filed by women and more than half of those were based on the fact proven being the husband's behaviour.

People are getting divorced later, but they are gettting married later also. The percentage of divorces is increasing based on the number of years married.

If less people are getting divorced surely there should be less need for public funding? Or are more people from low income groups getting divorced as a proportion of the total?

More people are choosing to cohabit. There is bound to be a further review of cohabitation rights. Will this review include the need for Mediation Assessment? If not, the Courts could be emptied of divorcing couples only to be replaced by separating, cohabiting couples.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gay Marriage about to be made legal!

According to the Daily Mail gays will be able to marry in church! Hip, hip, horray.

A civil ceremony conveys the same rights and obligations as a legal marriage but because of the sensitivities of the church the ceremony had to be a civil not a religious one - hence the title and could not be called marriage!

How is this not discriminatory against gay people? Not being allowed the label of marriage is... words fail me but I think you can work out my stance on this one. This was brought into law by a Labour Government and is about to be amended by the Coalition.

Good. Next they need to reform the Law on Divorce....

Thursday, February 03, 2011

What is a Mediation Assessment ?

From April divorcing couples will be required to attend a Mediation Assessment meeting prior to being able to issue a Court Application relating to Matrimonial Finances or Children.

The Mediator will assess whether Mediation is suitable. There will be limited exemptions to being forced to attend. Details not yet released.

Which Mediators are able to carry out these assessments is still to be announced.

In my experience Court is a place of last resort and a lot of people have already Mediated unsuccessfully and spent a lot of time negotiating either direct or via solicitors.

Is this planned? Another rushed piece of legislation like the dangerous dogs act?

Whenever I think of this I think of HIPS - a Government venture to offer a simple solution to a complex problem - gazumping. Well both HIPS and gazumping have disappeared for now. Lots of people made lots of money training others to become HIP providers. There are a lot of Mediation Training Courses available. My advice to anyone thinking of becoming a Mediator is...

don't give up the day job!!!!