Thursday, 30 August 2012

Communication is key!

A recent study undertaken by a family studies expert at the University of Missouri-Columbia considers the use of communication technology by divorced parents.  Within the study it recognises how effective text messages and emails can be in firming up the arrangements for children.  However it also flags up that where there is hostility between parents such communication can be used to prolong the hostility and in some cases manipulate the other parent.

The professor who undertook the study, Lawrence Ganong, states that separated parents “need to set their feelings aside and understand that they need to communicate effectively in order to protect the emotional well-being of their children”.

As specialist family solicitors we know how important it is for parents who are separating or going through a divorce to be able to communicate with each other in the best interests of their children.  Witnessing hostility between parents can have a detrimental impact upon children.

Effective and positive communication is not always easy and as detailed in my previous blog, there are family support services available which can specifically assist with communication issues for the benefit of the family when experiencing parenting or matrimonial issues.

Also see our recent blog in relation to parenting after parting.

For more divorce advice and discussion please read our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Permissive Promiscuity could Lower Divorce Rates

That is the argument of Catherine Hakim, a sociologist and author of “The New Rules: Internet Dating, Playfairs and Erotic Power”.

In an article for The Telegraph she claims that we Brits retain an Anglo-Saxon attitude to adultery which has resulted in our divorce rates being amongst the highest in the world. A more philosophical attitude towards affairs, she states, can ensure that marriages last longer.

Whether or not you agree with Ms Hakim, the fact remains that the divorce process in the UK is fault based: unless you have been separated for over two years, your spouse’s adultery or “unreasonable behaviour” must be cited as the reason for your divorce. As a result, we as family law solicitors have to know the reasons for our clients’ marriage breakdowns. Divorce statistics will not provide the full story: for example, someone who continues to live with their adulterous spouse for 6 months after their affair cannot use that adultery as the reason for their divorce. However, our experience tells us that adultery is as often a symptom of an unhappy relationship as it is the cause, and although adultery can be forgiven it is less easily forgotten.

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

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Married Men earn more than those who divorce

It has been reported that men who remain married make more money than those who have been divorced and those who do not marry.

There are a number of reasons put forward as to why this could be. One of the main reasons is that couples define their roles so that the wife will look after the home and the children leaving the husband to focus on his work. They pool their resources.

Looking purely at the economic reasons, in a divorce financial settlement, the couple’s assets are divided to meet their needs. The wife and children may remain living in the family home and the husband may be required to pay maintenance. The income he was previously earning is therefore significantly reduced. The capital that has been built up is reduced. There may be a pension sharing order.

There are also emotional factors. There are cases where the divorce process has such an impact on the husband that he is unable to function at work. Absence through stress is common. Previously achieved performance related bonuses may not be attainable.

There has been some research carried out in the USA which suggests that divorce has a direct impact upon the economy. Henry Potrykus, a senior fellow with the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, a subsidiary of the Family Research Council, and Patrick Fagan, MARRI director believe that marriage is one of the core economic growth factors. When a marriage ends with divorce, the economic growth disappears.

For more advice on divorce or financial settlements follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

The Problems Faced By International Families When They Separate

The press have reported a recent Court of Appeal case concerning "Baby L". Baby L was born in England to an English mother and a Portuguese father. The family then moved to Portugal where they separated. The parents agreed that their baby would spend alternating two month periods with each parent until he is three. This agreement was made a court order by a Portuguese Court. The mother then returned to England with Baby L saying that she had been coerced into the agreement and asked the English Court to change the arrangements, which she felt were no longer appropriate as the parents are now living in different countries. The Court of Appeal held that they cannot deal with this issue. They said that it should be dealt with by the Portuguese Court.

Many families now have an international element. If such a relationship ends the international element can significantly complicate arrangements for children. It is therefore very important that expert advice is obtained from a family law solicitor who is an expert in international family law. This advice should be taken immediately upon the relationship ending, as removing a child from a country without the other parent's agreement is parental child abduction.

For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter@Divorce_experts.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Civil partnerships and dissolutions on the rise

The office for National Statistics has revealed this week that the number of civil partnership in the UK in 2011 has increased by 6.4 per cent since 2010. Interestingly, the number of civil partnership dissolutions granted in the UK in 2011 has also increased by 28.7% since 2010. These statistics have been released at the same time ‘gay marriage’ is being heavily debated.

Upon civil partnership breakdown financial settlement issues will need to be resolved and possibly arrangements in relation to children.

For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter@Divorce_experts.