Saturday, December 29, 2012

2013 Dates - Better Parenting Better Divorce Classes

Series 1: January 15, 22, 29, February 5, 12, 19
Series 2: March 11, 18, 25, April 1, 8, 15
Series 3 May 7, 14, 21, 28, June 4, 11
Series 4: July 8, 15, 22,29, August 5, 12
Series 5: September 10, 17, 24, October 1, 8, 15
Series 6: October 29, November 5, 12, 19, 26, December 3 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Marriage Rules

When driving, I enjoy listening to what use to be books on tape and now is books on CD’s.  I actually listened to all of Moby Dick but usually listen to fiction and mysteries in particular.  I read nonfiction. It was not unheard for me to sit in a parked car so I could hear the end of a book! Occasionally, I listen to something else.  In particular, I like to listen to books which will make me a better mediator. Recently, I listened to “Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up” by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.   She is a scholar on the psychology of women and family relationships.  In Marriage Rules gives us just over 100 rules that cover all the hot spots in long-term relationships. Marriage Rules offers new solutions to age-old problems ("He won't talk"/"She doesn't want sex") as well as modern ones (your partner's relationship to technology.) She also suggests how to:
• Calm things down and warm them up• Talk straight and fight fair• Listen well as a spiritual practice• Connect with a distant partner• Survive the unique challenges of children, stepchildren and difficult- laws• Follow a 12-step program to overcome defensiveness• Know how and when to draw the line• Take back your marriage when things fall apart
Marriage Rules suggested many ideas which will help me when mediating and in particular help resolve impasses.
As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at (264) 12/28/12

Mother and Daughter Reunited after 3 Years

Atiya Anjum Wilkinson has been found safe and well in Pakistan and is expected back in the UK later today. Atiya was taken to Pakistan by her father in 2009 having told Atiya’s mother, Ms Wilkinson, that he was taking their daughter to Southport for the day. He later sent a text to say she would never see her daughter again and it has taken three years to track her down.

Atiya’s father returned to the UK and is currently serving a prison sentence for being in contempt of court by refusing to reveal the whereabouts of his daughter. Atiya’s father, Mr Anjum, is still serving his fourth jail term, handed down in April 2012 by Mr Justice Moor, for a period of 12 months.

It’s not known how or where she was found but today Atiya will be home with her mother and family after three years apart.

This story has a happy ending but sadly, this is not always the case. If you believe your child is at risk of abduction take specialist legal advice and action immediately to prevent the removal in the first place. Having your child returned to you, once they have left the UK, all depends upon whether they have been taken to a country who has signed up to the 1980 Hague Convention on the civil aspects of child abduction and it can be a difficult and long road to securing their return.

We are a team of specialist family law solicitors in Manchester. For more divorce advice please read our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts

Louise Halford

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

FREE to Military

Divorce Communications is now FREE to all military and their ex-partners. Our way of saying thank you for all you do! Cathy & Kim

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Boise Criminal Attorneys - Idaho DUI Lawyers (208) 472-2383

DUI During the Holidays
As a Boise Criminal Attorney, the Holidays often bring a flurry of calls from individuals charged with DUI. While it may sound obvious, there are many things that can lead to a DUI this time of year. Christmas parties, family celebrations and New Year revelry are all leading factors resulting in driving under the influence of alcohol. These aren't the only instigators, however.  As a Boise Divorce Attorney I see the toll that divorce and custody issues take on individuals during the holidays.  The stress associated with breaking up, coordinating visitation schedules and being alone during the holidays all effect the probability of ending up with a DUI.

Who Gets a DUI?
It is important to remember that law enforcement is aware of the increased use and abuse of alcohol this time of year.  They are on watch for individuals imbibing and driving.  Evidence of this is the recent DUI charge against Idaho Senator Mike Crapo.  Mr. Crapo is not unique in this holiday criminal charge.  Every day of every year I get calls into my criminal law office from individuals that have been charged with DUI and many many of those people say that they thought that they could drive and that they hadn't had that much to drink.  It is very likely that Senator Mike Crapo thought that same thing when he got behind the wheel and ended up blowing a .11 this week in Washington D.C.

Don't Let a Criminal Charge Ruin Your Fun
The Holidays are generally a happy time, but don't let a DUI ruin your celebration.  We should all be able to enjoy this time of year but make sure you have a designated driver, take a taxi or even walk.  Walking is great exercise and helps burn off the alcohol in your system, not to mention the extra calories consumed drinking.  Now that the Boise taxi companies have the ability to take debit and credit cards, there really is no excuse for not taking advantage of a sober driver.  If your holiday season is sad and lonely and if you are down in the dumps because of a divorce or custody battle and you are alone during this season, don't let yourself be taken down further by being charged with driving under the influence.  Instead of turning to alcohol, it is better to find someone to talk to.  It could be a family member, a member of the clergy, your divorce attorney or a counselor.  No one should suffer alone and those people are there to help you.  Don't let a DUI ruin the holidays for you or your family.

If you have been charged with a DUI or you have a family law issue and you need speak to a Boise Criminal Attorney or a Boise Divorce Attorney, please give us a call, (208) 472-2383.  You will be glad you did.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Seder Preidah: Ritural of Release

I recently spoke with my good friend, Rabbi Sandy Seltzer. Rabbi Seltzer has mediated divorces with his wife, Rita Pollak, family law attorney, trainer, teacher and mediator and  Past-President of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.   We were discussing Jewish divorce and he told me about the “Seder Preidah: Ritual of Release.”  I had never heard of it.  When I asked him for more information, he told me he would lend me a book he wrote entitled, “When There Is No Alternative – A Spiritual Guide for Jewish Couples Contemplating Divorce.”  It is the best book I have read about Jewish Divorce. The book discusses much more than Seder Preidah and I highly recommend it.

Seder Preidah is Reform Judaism answer for dealing with some of the problems of divorce.   As Rabbi Seltzer says in part, “In a radical departure from classical Reform’s attitude toward divorce as a purely civil matter, the CCAR in 1988 introduced a “Ritual of Release or Seder Preidah for Divorcing Couples.  Its intent has been to foster a spiritual setting for the termination of a marriage, thereby hopefully lessening it adversarial potential as well as providing a religious context for the expression of grief and loss.  It is not meant to be a Reform version of the get.”

As I get older, I understand even more the need for ritual.  I often told my clients that as painful as going to court when the divorce is granted, it is important because even that legal ritual provides them with more closure and helps them move on.
As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at (263) 12/21/12

Allocating Christmas (with help from CAFCASS)

All family lawyers who deal with child disputes are all too familiar with how important it is to parents to have Christmas morning with their children. When separated parents live geographically close, and their relationship remains amicable, witnessing their child’s delight on Christmas day morning can be shared. When their relationship is at best strained, the only answer is for the child to have two Christmases.

Where parents are unable to agree where and with whom their child will spend Christmas day, this matter can ultimately be decided upon by the courts as part of a contact/residence case. Parents are often worried about how the court will make a decision about these issues. When faced with such disputes Judges are required to consider first and foremost what is in the child’s best interests, and follow what is known as the “welfare checklist” to help them do so.

Wherever necessary, an officer from CAFCASS (the Children And Family Court Advisory and Support Service) will be asked to compile a report for the court with recommendations as to what type of contact or residence order should be made in a particular case. CAFCASS officers are professionally qualified social workers. Recent research by CAFCASS has shown that in 75% of cases in which they have submitted reports, the court has made an order which follows the recommendations made.

We are a team of specialist family law solicitors in Manchester. For more divorce advice please read our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts

Katy Stirling, Solicitor

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Family law services

Family law is usually very complex. In addition, in cases involving, as a rule, very emotional. In case you are not financially able to get a good lawyer in this case, given the circumstances. Pro Bono or unobstructed view, or at least a lawyer who charges a small fee service family law is a must when you're dealing with such a question.

There are specific types of legal organizations that have proven that they have the quality, experience and efficiency when it comes to represent family members come in complex cases. In addition, some of them work for a symbolic price. Therefore, the limited financial resources still no shortage of options for display.

Legal organizations created for legal assistance in matters relating to the family, which may be very different. They include child custody, divorce, and visiting children. Of course the typical legal organizations provide these types of views on the amount which, depending on the client's income.

A very common type of organization that provides legal assistance to a non-profit organization. It offers a wide range of legal services in the cases of all kinds. Such organizational and legal aid does not charge or take a very small fee for profit. Another type of legal aid is available in some law schools.

Almost all the schools in the U.S. offer on the basis of clinical programs, disadvantaged customers get the services they need legal help. As citizens, to obtain legal representation they deserve in court. Non-profit organization offers a lawyer to represent you in your case.

In the case of clinical law school legal, you represent the last year instead of a real lawyer. The student selected for this task qualified to provide legal assistance to the desired type. Licensed attorney supervises the work of the students in the case.

The benefits of participating in one of these non-profit programs that you get, and you represent. Greater chance of success, you do not have to do with the question the court in its discretion and whether the decision was correct. Family law services can even be obtained for free and always the best option when it comes to solving a family matter to court.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Is Divorce really 'too easy'?

As anyone who has ever been through a break-up knows, they can be upsetting and emotional experiences, even if they are free from the sort of rancour sometimes seen in the celebrity divorces played out across the pages of our national newspapers.

Yet it seems that a majority of people still believe that divorce is "too easy".

A survey conducted by ICM Research on behalf of Pannone's Family department found that 57 per cent of people questioned felt that way.

The findings made the pages of both the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail.
Both 'papers featured the comments of my colleague Fiona Wood, who remarked that the survey results did not tally with her experience or that of the department as a whole.

She also suggested that they might well have been more influenced by the shortlived marriages of the stars than the sort of married life familiar to the rest of us.

One thing which is common to all divorces whether they involve stars or not is the need to have the support of expert family lawyers capable of supporting you and your family during the divorce process. You will need family law advice on not only ending the marriage but agreeing a financial settlement and arrangements for children.

To arrange a discussion with one of the Pannone family lawyers, click here or call us on 0800 840 4929.

For more divorce advice and insight, you can also read our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts

Vicki McLynn, Partner

Friday, December 14, 2012

Have Gun – Will Mediate

One of my all-time favorite TV shows was Have Gun - Will Travel.  I have purchased and watched the CD’s of the show and am now listening to the radio show version on my iPhone.  What I have come to realize is that Paladin was often a mediator.  Perhaps this was part of the shows attraction to me.  He did not call himself a mediator but in episode 23, in the first season one  entitled ” Bitter Wine”, Paladin is hired to mediate a dispute between an Italian vintner and an Irish oilman. I like the way he was a problem solver.  There was always the threat and sometime the use of the gun but he always tried to resolve problems without the use of force.

As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at (262) 12/14/12

Shared care presumption under review

Further to Eleanor Aguirre’s blog of 6th November 2012, it is reported today that a parliamentary committee has voiced “significant concerns” over the government’s plans to introduce a presumption of shared parenting in children cases.

The concerns outlined included that a shared care presumption “could lead to unrealistic expectations from parents about shared time” and ultimately it could take away the focus when dealing with the arrangements for children from determining what is in the child’s best interests.

There has much debate on this issue and as detailed in our previous blogs, prior to this recent report, the proposed change to the law has been met with much criticism from members of the legal profession.

When parents’ divorce or separate, the welfare of their children is no doubt the most important issue for them. Many separating parents agree the arrangements without having to seek the assistance of the court and in many cases those arrangements will undoubtedly involve mother and father co-parenting and adopting equal roles.

However, such an arrangement may not work in all situations and in those cases where it is necessary for the court to be called upon, the current law’s overriding objective when determining the day to day arrangements for a child is that the child’s welfare is the court’s paramount consideration. To introduce a presumption from the parents’ perspective could undermine this – the main focus should be the child not the parent.

The Government will be publishing a full response to the Justice Committee’s report early in the New Year. Whether there will be a change in the law to introduce the presumption is still yet to be seen.

We are a team of specialist family law solicitors in Manchester. For more divorce advice please read our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts .

Patricia Robinson, Senior Associate

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Boise Divorce Attorneys - Idaho Family Law Lawyers (208) 472-2383 Changes During a Pending Case

I have often spoken about modification in my divorce and family law blogs.  Many of you may remember that in order to modify an existing order you must show a substantial and material change of circumstance that did not exist at the time of agreement.

When speaking of modification this way, it seems that post divorce or custody is the only time changes occur.  That, however, is slightly misleading.  As a Boise Divorce Attorney, I often see the need to modify an agreement within an existing active case.

For example, Magistrate Judges in Ada County order issues of custody to be mediated.  The idea behind this is that the parties, themselves, can work out what will work best for them, rather than having a judge tell them what to do.  They are ordered to choose from a set of court appointed mediators within a certain time period and are asked to attend mediation to work out an agreement.  If they agree they then sign the agreement and that is incorporated into the divorce and custody order.

Changes that Occur Prior to Final Divorce Order
As a Boise Divorce Attorney I have seen situations where the parties agree and then before a final order in entered there is a change in circumstances that possibly makes the agreement less than ideal when taking into account the best interest of the child.  For example, if one party begins using drugs or is charge with aggravated assault, you would not want to keep a parenting agreement that allowed the child to be alone with that parent. 

Whether the parent is committing a crime, engaged in ongoing criminal activity or is acting in a way that shows a disregard for parental responsibility, can you change your parenting agreement without filing for a modification?  As a family law lawyer I would suggest that the court be notified of the change and motion the court disregard the signed mediation agreement based upon the material change in circumstance.  It can easily be argued that the set of facts which the mediation is based on have change to a new set of facts considering the criminal or unfit behavior of one parent.  Simply because an agreement is in place does not mean that it should stand if one parent is acting in a way that is not suitable to the best interest of a child.

If you need to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney or an Idaho Family Law Lawyer, please give us a call and see what we can do for you, (208) 472-2383.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The dawning of the cookie monster?

The possibility of using a formula to divide assets on divorce is one option being considered by the Law Commission ahead of today's closure of their two-month divorce law consultation.
The sums which separating spouses receive would be based on a mathematical formula considering factors such as the length of the marriage and number of children.
Critics of the system, which was introduced in Canada in 2008, claim that it leads to “cookie cutter” justice in which the size of divorce settlements becomes too fixed, rather than decided on the individual factors which arise on the breakdown of a marriage.
The aim would be to ensure greater consistency and certainty. The Law Commission also believes the reform could reduce unrealistic expectations and claims, therefore minimising conflict and the costs of divorce.
The idea of applying formulae to Family law is not necessarily new. The Child Support Agency introduced a formula which has been seen to work and has even reduced one possible source of tension in divorce proceedings. The ruling in White v White in 2000 was also notable because lawyers assumed it provided a straightforward formula for the division of a married couple's joint assets, however the judgement has been debated over the intervening dozen years so that the situation has ended up more complicated.

Removing family lawyers' discretion would amount to a significant shift in the resolution of financial matters on divorce. Family courts have been used to very broad discretionary powers, much more than in other countries' legal systems. For parliament to remove that and insist on a more rigid formula being used for the division of assets would constitute something of a u-turn. Such a system would maybe stand a greater chance of working by promoting certainty, but would judges still attempt to find some discretionary space within it?
For more divorce advice please read our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

Claire Reid, Senior Associate

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Divorcing couple accused of 'profligacy'

The Telegraph today contains a salutory reminder of why you should always ensure that the legal costs of pursuing a financial divorce settlement remain proportionate to the award you are seeking.

The combined legal costs of Mr Alyami and Mrs Mussallan incurred in connection with their divorce were £1.3 million. Mr Alyami had been left with nothing but debt despite an award of around £500,000. The Court of Appeal, dealing with this most recent application by Mr Alyami described the costs as 'profligacy'.

The costs in this case had been incurred in not only resolving the financial settlement but also in connection with arrangements for the children.

The English courts have a huge discretion when deciding financial outcomes on divorce - there is no set formula - so that some people do choose to continue to contest matters. Our team of family law experts would always advise you to ensure the outcome will justify your costs.

 For more divorce advice  please read our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts
Vicki McLynn, Partner

Monday, December 03, 2012

Will it really be a quickie divorce for former Oil chief?

The press have today reported that Maureen Fulton, the wife of BP chief Tony Hayward has been granted a “quickie” divorce following their 27 year marriage.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is said to have forced Mr Hayward out of his £4 million a year job as BP’s chief executive. No doubt the division of the parties assets will be subject to future press speculation in particular his pension pot which is believed to be valued at £10.8 million and in which his former wife is likely to be entitled to share as part of the financial settlement.

The suggestion that it is possible to have a “quickie” divorce is misleading In England and Wales married couples who wish to divorce have to show that the marriage has irretrievably broken down by relying upon different grounds which could be behaviour, adultery or a period of separation. The divorce process is the same in each case and there is no such thing as a “quickie” divorce.
When a couple divorce it is also important to try and reach a financial settlement which can often be the most time consuming element to resolve. They may also need to discuss and agree the arrangements for any children. It is always important to seek expert legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

We are a team of specialist family law solicitors in Manchester. For more divorce advice please read our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.