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Global Guide to Divorce

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Getting a Divorce

Thinking about Divorce? Steps You can still Take during COVID

Whatever the cause, making the choice to divorce from your partner may be one of the hardest you’ll ever make, particularly when it’s a choice to start you awake in the face of a mountain of other concerns and stuff.

No matter when you reach the decision, it is essential to be prepared for the challenges ahead before you split.

In this COVID-19 case, Gold Coast Lawyers will use alarming evidence and also set out some primary factors.

Look for guidance 

If you contemplate divorce, the first thing you have to do is receive advice about the procedure, law and the issues you encounter. You will get full information at a time when most issues seem too unregulated. Ask those you know and have faith to give that advice to attorneys in your area who practice in divorce and then make a few consultations.

Even though it is certainly not at this time feasible to hold an in-person appointment, most clinicians are prepared to arrange a telephone or video conference and would even be readier now, since most court cases have been stopped.

To determine how to continue, the timeline and whether to go forward, a comprehensive consultation would provide you with all the relevant details.

Collect relevant documentation

With most operations stopped and citizens at home now, it is appropriate to gather paperwork needed if you intend to divorce. Records are important. Essential financial records include tax statements, sales reports and pension plans, loans, policy information, property assessment papers, etc. It is far too late to learn and find and appreciate this material, whether you have never been involved or taken part in financing. If you really need assistance, call the independent financial planner.

If you divorce you can probably save time and money in the long term by scheduling some of this material. It is also a perfect time to learn and work out your finances. When you actually split, this is a valuable practice. Note that with the sudden closing of some employers, things might have improved financially.

Focus on improving your children

It is important to note that being a parent should triumph above all the spousal and personal disagreements. For the sake of the kids, it is best to shield them from marital strife as isolated as possible. Bear in mind that you will have to keep parenting together given your conflicts, even if your relationship might not long.

Evaluate a strategy

Now is the time to take your choices into consideration and schedule a session. If the relationship is over and nice, you and your husband will be able to resolve the problems and see if there are anything you may compromise on. Settlement persists and at this time agreement through teleconferencing persists feasible.

You may also conclude and observe a detailed mediation deal with your respective attorneys. The majority of courts still stay available to filings such as spousal support concerns if you want to start that process.

Remain calm

It is impossible to be calm in an unhealthy relationship and the increased strain to confront a death and economic catastrophe pandemic definitely makes things that much more complicated.

Harsh comments by email and text might come back to annoy you in a future trial, even though you stay in the same home, and disruptive or abusive acts that often take place at court can result in domestic abuse. Find opportunities to keep quiet and relaxed instead. Think, go out for a fresh air or find other ways to relax and avoid constant conflict.

How this will affect your children 

If you have kids together or from a previous relationship, it is important to consider how they would be influenced by that. During this period, it is important that your children feel secure and are shielded from any tension created by the breakup, especially because most children are at home during this time and subjected to any unpleasant encounters with you two.

It is necessary to obtain counsel on any family plans that you plan to decide to and consider the consequences and responsibilities that you commit to.  

Bio:

Gary Mallett is counted amongst the finest lawyers in Gold Coast. Serving as an Associate at OMB Solicitors, he proudly holds decades of experience focussing primarily on cases such as financial agreement preparation and advice, parenting disputes, property disputes, divorce, child support issues, and domestic violence cases.

Are You Preparing For Divorce? Here is some common Checklist

This pandemic has provoked various challenges in people’s life. People are going through financial crises, illness, lockdown, and many more problems. In such a scenario incompatibility and stress imply a lot of people to get a divorce.

Well, this is not a hidden fact that divorce is scary and depressive, however, you necessitate to deal with it and eliminate this situation. Los Angeles natives usually prefer consulting family lawyers in Los Angeles or divorce lawyers in Los Angeles. Nevertheless, dealing with this situation you need to be quite prepared. There might be many questions in your mind craving for satisfying answers such as how to do so? what to do? is it right to do and many more. Do not worry here is the checklist you require to prepare for your divorce.

Acknowledge some common elements of the checklist you require if preparing for a divorce. 

Counseling is important before a big decision 

Consider consulting with a marriage counselor before you file a divorce case, there’s no harm in it. You really need to understand is it really required? is divorce is the only situation and is this situation deserves a life-changing decision? Consulting can help you in figuring out your relationship what if, it may work you never know.

Checklist of documentation

So now as you are clear in your head with your divorce taking a decision, all you need is the proper documentation to take a step ahead. Documents include all your tax returns, debts, property papers, insurance papers, investment deals, assets bills (car, jewelry, etc.), retirement and pension plans, and more. You may require any of the documents any time so be a bit proactive and gather all required papers and secure your file.

Figure out the post-divorce probabilities.

Well, you need to get your financial acquainted as you need to have knowledge about your monthly bills and payments. How much is your savings, how your expenses are calculated and how will you do it all alone? It’s really essential to understand your financial stream before taking the divorce.

Find about your will

After divorce, you need to update all your documents including your will and for that, you require thorough knowledge about your trust.

Start maintaining your current expense records

As mentioned above it is quite essential to figure out your financial flow and for that, you really need to figure out your expenses and manage them properly.

Figure out your exact aim 

Well, you are taking a big decision so the base of the situation has to be strong enough to lead you to get a divorce. But as you have taken it you need to know what are the items you require such as household, how will you be taking your life forward what do you want, and what you don’t.

Children should not be neglected 

If kids are involved in your case you need to be a bit more concerned. You cannot make them suffer due to your own issues. Where children are involved however the matter becomes sensitive you need to handle it maturely and calmly. Make them feel secure and wanted so that situation does not become awkward.

You need a lawyer 

Well, most of the things in the checklist are done by yourself but it doesn’t mean you can run your own case in the court. You require a skillful, experienced, and knowledgeable attorney to lead your case, as they are better than you in all the terms and get you to divorce peacefully with the mutual suggestion and approach. Consult with family law attorney Los Angeles before hiring one as it is one of the most important decisions.

Focus on the wider picture 

This is a big decision and can affect you and your family forever, so make sure you are doing everything with your integrity and do not ruin anything for any petty excuse, and for that, all you need is control over your anger and deal peacefully.

Conclusion 

Generally, people think that divorce all about separating with legal terms, however, it involves money, parenting, sensitive matters, and emotions. Getting a divorce might be the only option left in front of you but remember that struggling this is also not very easy, so make your decision carefully. I wish you all the luck that prevails!

 

How to deal with legal issues during Lockdown

Lockdown has been incredibly difficult for everyone and each individual has had their own pressures and worries to work out whilst living in an uncertain world, one where you’re expected to stay at home, perhaps even an unhappy home.

If you find yourself in need of professional legal advice to help with a current dispute regarding children, divorce or separation or civil partnership breakdown, there is still something you can do – even during lockdown – to help the situation.

Family Arbitration

Family Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution and it’s a quick and versatile option which can be tailored to an individual’s particular circumstances, to ensure they can resolve any issues which include finances or issues concerning children, in a time and environment that suits them.

Family Arbitration is very useful in these current times as the process doesn’t require you to go to a court. You would normally visit the office of your Arbitrator however as that’s not currently possible, the process can continue virtually.

Virtual Arbitration

Virtual Arbitration is ideal for individuals who need to resolve certain matters but cannot visit their Arbitrators offices. This new format prevents further Court backlogs, in which many couples and families will be waiting months for their issues to be seen to.

During a virtual arbitration session, the Arbitrator will use video-conferencing to facilitate the arbitration process from start to finish, negating the requirement for parties to attend a physical setting.

As this entire process can be completed remotely, individuals do not have to worry about restrictions on travelling or health and safety issues and the impact on the timescales of the case.

All Family Law issues can be dealt with through Virtual Arbitration

As stated previously, as there are limited restrictions to the process, all family law issues can still be dealt with during arbitration. It simply requires both parties to commit to the process in order for it to be successful.

Child matters and arrangements has been in the spotlight during the lockdown, as many families and parents have been unsure on the exact measures and processes they are allowed to undertake to ensure the safety of their children but with arrangements still met and agreed to.

Child arrangement disputes is one of the issues you can deal with during virtual arbitration and with a legal professional to guide the session, you will hopefully be able to come to resolution on any issues that are currently concerning you during this time.

Financial issues and disputes might be at the forefront of some people’s minds at the moment and especially if you’re going through a divorce settlement you might find yourself asking how do you continue this process during lockdown?

These types of matters are worth discussing with family law specialists as they can provide you with the tools and advice on how certain processes and disputes can continue as normal during lockdown to avoid potentially disadvantageous settlements, which might involve property, shares and pensions.

Author Bio

K J Smith Solicitors are specialists in family law, experienced in all matters relating to divorce, civil partnerships, cohabitation disputes and collaborative law.

 

Choosing a Mediator for Child Matters during COVID-19

When a child’s parents do not live together, they will decide how the child’s care should be distributed. Child custody disputes may be politically charged, particularly in cases involving divorce or dissolution of a relationship.

However, if parents can put aside their disputes and come to an understanding without interference from the judge, it would be less difficult for those involved.

One choice that helps parents to decide custody of a child without the intervention of the courts is child custody mediation.

Most family law attorneys may claim that alternate dispute resolution (ADR) methods such as Family Law mediation, arbitration, and partnership are more successful than family law lawsuits. Regardless of COVID-19, (ADR ) is the only direct alternative available to others.

Several family courts hold proceedings electronically through Zoom, but they are often unable to settle non-emergent conflicts. As of now, judges are not requiring mediation through Zoom, so attorneys and clients will decide to join.

What Is Mediation?
Most divorced spouses use mediation to help settle problems relating to divorces, such as compensation, property separation, and child custody. In divorce mediation, the spouses hire a neutral third party (the mediator) to help them discuss and resolve their differences. Many divorce mediators are qualified family law lawyers who have received advanced mediation training.

Throughout the area of family law, mediation is an efficient, non-adversarial form of alternate conflict settlement where parties try to settle matters of separation, custody, and control, property distribution, and child care.

Benefits of Mediation

The mediation process is normally private and mediation is usually performed without a trial reporter. As such, parents should talk openly without fear of someone knowing what has been addressed. Mediation is a considerably more cost-effective method for settling custody issues than intervening in protracted lawsuits.

Mediation also tends to reduce the tension or hostility toward parents, since it works on alleviating conflict.

Preparation for Child Custody Mediation

There are several crucial steps to take before you start mediating child custody:
• Try getting professional advice from a lawyer: it’s best to engage in consultation with a good knowledge of your custody rights and obligations.
• Write down detailed daily routines for you and your kids.
• Prepare your plan for custody and visits.
• Keep any appropriate information for your child, including vital medical reports, index cards, and any correspondence from your child.

Reasons to Choose Mediation for Your Family Law Matter

1. Control

Control and certainty appear to elude us all, as we begin to experience an unpredictable return to what we know as “natural” before. Unlike the traditional litigation method, the settlement process now helps parties to influence the outcome of their dispute – and not, ideally, in the immediate future at an undetermined date.

If the parties choose the mediation process, the parties or their representatives decide on a mediator by mutual consent. The mediator is an impartial facilitator with no power to select a settlement or decide on any part of the situation. The mediator is there to foster discussion and to help the parties overcome.

2. Creativity

Mediation gives the parties the ability to be creative when a settlement is reached, while the court may be limited in its powers. The innovative value of mediation is especially evident now in the middle of the novel coronavirus pandemic which has put a screeching halt to all but usual court operations.

3. Confidentiality

The mediation process is private, confidential, and entirely voluntary, meaning a group or mediator may cancel it at any time. Individuals who want to mediate in their family law issues that never have to reach a courtroom or turn over their cases before a judge, a virtual outsider, which has little actual everyday experience about their family’s structure.

In these uncertain times, the non-adversarial mediation process will allow the parties to sit down and have tough discussions about what life will be like when they agree to split their households.

This shared effort to accept communication with a mutual objective of getting on with each other’s lives will be crucial as the wages and lifestyles of the participants may be deeply changed, and also their own emotional and physical well-being.

Bio-

You should contact Mediations Australia if you are interested in learning more about the mediation process and how it can help you overcome your family problem amid COVID-19. We believe that almost anything relating to family law can be settled by our proven family law mediation process.

Dealing With An Emotionally Abusive Spouse During A Divorce

Almost half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce or separation, and though many of these marriages end in amicable terms, some couples aren’t so lucky. Sometimes, a once well-mannered spouse will transform into a relentless bully. What makes this kind of bullying worse is that your ex knows your deepest fears and insecurities, making it easier for them to push your buttons.

Bullying in a divorce can manifest in different ways. Your partner could lie about past incidents or blow things out of proportion to make you look bad. They could isolate you from friends and family, or threaten to take full custody of the children and keep you away from them. They could turn into a cyberbully, harassing you on social media or over email.

Dealing with an abusive partner in a divorce can take a significant toll on your mental and emotional wellbeing. Thankfully, the situation isn’t unsalvageable. If you take the time to understand how you can handle an abusive partner, you can make the divorce more bearable.

Turn To A Support System

Divorcing a bully is a harrowing task, but having the right people around you can make it easier. Your support system will consist of professionals, like a lawyer and other consultants, as well as emotional support like your friends and family to keep you mentally balanced. Knowing that you have a group of people who have your back will make a world of a difference on especially bad days.

Keep A Record Of The Abuse

When you’re a victim of bullying, it’s easy to feel helpless and fall into despair. But you can stand up for yourself by taking note of your partner’s abusive behavior, recording every single detail. Take note of the date and time, how the abuse occurred, and be as detailed as you can. Then, take this data to your lawyer to see if they can help you stop the abuse by setting clear legal boundaries they cannot cross.

Prioritize Your Health And Safety

Bullying can result in a multitude of mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. The emotional toll can also affect your physical health, weakening your immune system and causing problems like headaches, fatigue, and digestive issues. It’s easy to lose sight of your physical health when you’re in the middle of a difficult divorce, but make a point to take care of yourself by consuming healthy food, exercising, and engaging in activities that make you happy and calm. You could also consult a therapist to help you work through your issues.

Not all bullying partners are violent. But if you think that your ex could physically harm you and your kids, take steps to keep you and your children safe. If your ex was violent during your marriage, the chances of them lashing out on you during the divorce are significantly higher. If you feel that the risk is significant, speak to your lawyer about filing a restraining order.

Bullies often resort to abusive tactics to pressure you to give in to an outcome where you get the short end of the stick. Learn how to stand your ground and don’t let yourself get bullied into making a bad choice. Be kind to yourself. Remember that although things may be difficult now, this will all end eventually. Keep your chin up, and don’t lose heart.

Author of this article, Lucy Wyndham, is a freelance writer and former Financial Advisor. After a decade in industry, she took a step backward to spend more time with her family and to follow her love of writing.  

Ways To Set Boundaries During Divorce

Divorce brings many changes and one of them is a set of new boundaries. What was once okay may seem intrusive after a couple has separated. The key is to determine what feels right and what is uncomfortable. When married, a man and woman may have called each other during the day. This can be too much contact, so texting on a need-to-know basis is an appropriate boundary during divorce. In an acrimonious one, direct contact may be intimidating for either spouse. A way to protect boundaries in this situation, is to have all communication go to a neutral third party. This way, spouses feel safe and are not be the target of vindictiveness. Our two collaborative lawyers assigned a mediator right at the beginning to do this service for us.   If you feel boundaries are being trampled upon during the proceedings, speak to your attorney about how changes can be made.

The divorce process itself is stressful even when it is amicable.  One feels stretched in many directions. This is the time to start saying “No” to taking on new things Look at current obligations and decide which ones could be dropped. Although clubs, committees and volunteer work are rewarding, they can eat up precious time and drain energy.  Focus on what you really enjoy doing and let the others go.  Be firm with boundaries when others try to stop you from resigning or demand that you sign up for new projects.  Draw up a plan for what you have time for and which ones that do not make the cut.  This can be temporary and wham the divorce is over, some of these activities can be added back into your agenda.

On a personal level, you have the right to start declining requests to help out neighbors, family and friends.  If you give a co-worker rides, babysit for a pal or do other kind acts, this is the time to pull back.  Your first responsibility is to yourself and your children. Being frazzled helps no one.  When people do not support your new boundaries, stay firm.   For example, during divorce if it is no longer feasible to take Grandma out every week, do not let family members guilt trip you about it. Stand your ground when being unable to continue routines.

A sticky issue with boundaries comes up during proceedings regarding the marital home. Technically both spouses are co-owners. Establish guidelines regarding how the spouse that moved out has access, especially when their possessions are still inside.   Please read more  www.divorcemag.com/blog/setting-boundaries-during-divorce/

Why To Do Nothing May Be The Right Course Of Action

Sometimes the best course of action is to Do Nothing

In divorce we are spinning our wheels and often going nowhere. It is hard to stay focused with so much going on during proceedings. Our brains are on overload and our bodies are exhausted. What is the antidote to this craziness? Step back and Do Nothing. Having a block of time to do whatever you fancy is the way to recharge your batteries.   This resets your mind and body, so you can tackle the tasks, such as negotiating the split of marital assets.

Effects of Stress

Stress increases the risk of cardiovascular events and hormones such as cortisol, are released. This can cause headaches, gastrointestinal issues and for some of us, brain fog. Making decisions can be overwhelming. The Mayo Clinic states “Taking time to rest and relax with no particular goals can help reduce stress and bring a sense of calm and control.” Downtime allows the brain to process information which has been received. The subconscious mind can put together new ideas to solve the complex issues that come with divorce. Having downtime increases creativity. Artists and writers often have unstructured periods to let their minds wander. While seemingly doing nothing, creative concepts are bubbling up to the surface,

Think about when you were a child and had lazy days doing nothing. Most likely you were relaxed and enjoyed life. Bring this feeling into your present situation. I was surprised to see a children’s book in our local bookstore titled “Do Nothing.” A few adults were picking it up and reading it.

People may mistake taking downtime as not being productive. It is the opposite, as one’s body and mind are being recharged, like our electronic devices. Consider leaving gaps in your schedule to chill out or do a favorite activity. Give yourself permission to nap, read a book, a stroll in a leafy park, or whatever is pleasurable. This can be like a mini vacation which is rejuvenating.

A young adult whom I take care of one mooning a week, introduced me to this concept. He has cerebral palsy and can only string several words together at a time. I ask him what he would like to do and often it is basketball.   On a regular basis, this young adult’s reply also is “Do Nothing.” We might sit in his lovely patio and listen to the various bird calls. Or possibly take a walk and look at flower filled gardens. I was amazed at how refreshed I became after following his directive to Do Nothing. As I began to practice this, I started to be less frazzled. I am calm in my new job and less stressed overall. My divorce would have been smoother if I had known the secret that it is okay to Do Nothing at times.

Please read more   www.divorcemag.com/blog/taking-a-break-from-your-divorce/

Social Media Can Have An Impact On Divorce

Be careful what you post on social media and other online sites during divorce and beyond. Your solicitor may have given you some guidelines, but mistakes can cost you in shared time with your children. One man in a small town had posted on a dating site, that he was single and without children. The fact that he was married with two sons seemed to have alluded him. A single family friend spotted it and told the wife once she had initiated the divorce. The wife asked for a copy and then handed them out to her solicitor, the sons’ new therapist and the custody evaluator. The father ended up with limited visitation and no overnights. Stay off dating sites until the divorce is finalized.

It is not fair for children to have their parents battle each other in such a public arena through social media. When older offspring have access to their parents’ social media sites, it is upsetting to read nasty remarks. If you are the spouse who is the recipient of online vitriol, do not go out for revenge. Let your attorney deal with it in your proceedings. Think about how your child would feel, before posting anything which could be controversial.

You may be selective of what goes on your social media sites, but that does not ensure that friends do too. They may be posting party pics from the hen party or birthday bashes. Looking like the party girl or a drunk in the pub is not going to help one seem like a responsible parent when making shared care arrangements. Keep in mind that friends may not have strict privacy settings or may share intimate details with their pals, who do not. Put on your site, or allow friends to post, only what would be okay for your family to view. You do not want a spiteful ex to get ammunition from social media sites to use against you.  Stay off your former spouse’s social media sites. Do you want to see photos of your ex and new partner on their world cruise? If you have a family member that sided with your ex, do you want to read her loving comments to him? No. It is not therapeutic to be keeping up with what he is doing on Facebook and makes it more challenging to move on. If something important happens, someone will inform you. A friend’s husband in a charity organization with my ex thought he heard that he had gotten remarried. This husband checked my ex’s Facebook and then confirmed it. I was happy about this, hoping it would take his focus off me. Get your ex out of your mind and make room in your life for new people.

Please read more   www.divorcemag.com/blog/how-social-media-can-affect-divorce-proceedings/

 

Splitting Shared Assets when Divorcing

Divorce proceedings can be extremely stressful and traumatic for everyone involved, even more so when shared assets need to be split. When tying the knot, the last thing couples anticipate is divorce and as a result, few actually plan what would happen to their shared assets should they get divorced.

Over the years, you and your partner will have invested together, saved together and perhaps opened joint bank accounts, and in order to make financial settlements fair, there are a number of factors that have to be taken into consideration before splitting your assets.

Before we continue, it is important to note that how assets are split between a couple will be determined by the relationship. Simply put, the rights of a cohabiting couple will differ from those of a married couple, so bare this in mind.

Step 1:

The first thing you must establish is who legally owns what assets. If you’re in a cohabiting relationship then any investments or savings in your name will belong to you and your partner will not have access to these assets. Likewise, savings or investments made in your ex-partners name will be theirs and you will not be granted access.

However, there are exceptions to the rule. You may be entitled to beneficial interest if you have made contributions towards something in your ex-partners name, such as investing your own money into one of their projects. If this is the case, then you should seek legal advice.

On the flip side, investments or savings made throughout the duration of the marriage will be taken into consideration and divided as part of a financial settlement. Whilst assets amassed prior to the marriage aren’t typically subject to financial settlements throughout divorce proceedings, there is still a chance that your assets are at risk and you should seek legal advice to make sure your savings and investments are protected.

Step 2:

Next, it is time to find out what your savings are really worth in the eyes of the law. If you save money into a savings account such as a cash ISA or cash deposit, it should be pretty easy to get a rough idea of how much your savings are worth as you should be receiving regular financial statements.

However if you have invested in the stock market, or own shares and investment bonds, then it may not be as straightforward when it comes to determining the worth of your assets. This is solely because the value of your investments will differ from week to week, even day to day especially in a volatile and quick-changing market. You should talk to a financial adviser about finding out the value of invested assets tied up in the stock market.

Step 3:

It can be difficult to make sense of the whole process when splitting assets and couples often aren’t aware of how to split their savings and investments. Generally, it depends on where your savings are kept. Cash ISA, shares, investment property or savings accounts – there are a number of ways in which your money can be invested and each will differ when it comes to paying out financial settlements.

Cash ISAs

Cash ISAs can only be held in one individual name and therefore money cannot be transferred from one party to another. If the court has demanded you pay a financial settlement to your ex-partner you must withdraw the money from the account.

Shares

You have a bit more flexibility when it comes to shares as there are a number of different options in which you can pay off a financial settlement. Simply hand over control of the shares, sell the shares or give the value of the shares once sold to another party – it is your choice.

It’s easy to transfer shares, just fill in a J30 form which you can get from the company you initially brought the shares from. Alternativley, if you decide to sell your shares you will need to use the same service you used when buying those shares.

Investment property

If either you or your partner owns a property, then that asset is legally yours/theirs and the other party will have no claim to it – unless contributions have been made. In that case, you will both need to come to an agreement as to how the appropriate party will be paid back.

If you jointly own the property, then you may choose to sell your share to your ex-partner, or buy them out.

Savings accounts

If you plan to transfer money to your ex-partner as part of a financial settlement from a fixed-rate account, then you must first notify your bank so that you do not lose interest. If you are transferring from a normal savings account then you don’t have to give notice.

You should now be fully are of all your legal responsibilities and the claims you can make when it comes to splitting both shared and individual assets when divorcing. We understand how distressing divorce proceedings can be and that is why we have put together this comprehensive guide so that the process can be as amicable, straightforward and stress-free as possible for both you and your ex-partner.

Kerry Smith is the Head of Family Law at K J Smith Solicitors, specialist family law solicitors in Reading that deal with a wide range of issues, including divorce, domestic violence, civil partnerships, and prenuptial agreements. Kerry has over 15 years experience in family law and is recommended by the Legal 500 guide to law firms in the UK.

10 Tips To Know About Divorce

Divorce is a life transition that generates permanent changes. One can never go back – only forward. Divorce affects finances, relationships and career choices. It can be a positive catalyst for a metamorphosis.

  1. Divorce is not a linear process, one can back track, hit a speed bump or nearly get derailed. My husband and I were in the collaborative process and he suddenly dropped out when it did not go as he expected. We had to start over with new solicitors for litigation. Then he decided to return to collaborative and luckily our original solicitors let us pick up where we left off from before.
  2. Divorce does not have to mean only negative changes –but can push people in a positive direction. Maribel was a stay-at-home mum who was bored out of her mind and felt unfulfilled. Getting a divorce forced her back into the working world. She opted for a lesser paying job in retail and is ecstatic about life. Maribel is much more vibrant now, than I ever observed in her marriage. Two co-workers lead busy, fulfilled lives now that they are divorced.
  3. Divorce has an end point. My maintenance and child support have finished which means contact with my ex is 100% in the past. I will be moving and can totally close that chapter of my life. Other people’s end point may be when their divorce is finalized, especially when there is a Clean Break. The divorce process seemed endless at the time, but it helped when folks said that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
  4. Get centred, clear your mind and think through your choices and decisions. I made stupid missteps in a panic – rather than stating “Let me think about it and get back to you.” An issue can be tabled until the next mediation/collaborative session – or you could send an e-mail the following day with your decision. Reacting quickly, instead of mulling it over can haunt you in the future.
  5. Get the necessary experts on the divorce team. If it seems as if some assets are missing, then get a forensic accountant on board. In an acrimonious divorce, a custody evaluator may be brought in to do an extensive study to determine the percentage of shared care between parents.
  6. There are support groups available to enable you to make it through the arduous divorce process. The Divorce Magazine has a link to helpful resources including parenting ones, on the web site. Conduct your own online search to discover ones in your locale. Talking to others going through divorces gave me support and I felt less alone.
  7. It is normal to feel that you cannot take much more stress without exploding. People interviewed expressed that they were surprised that they got through divorce without a nervous breakdown. In our crazy divorce, the two solicitors mandated that we each see a designated life coach for at least one session. My husband brought his to one collaborative session and that made for a smoother meeting with less tension for all of us.
  8. You will discover traits that you did not realize that you possessed. Hidden strength will bubble up and get you through tough negotiations. You will discover your resilience which helps you to be flexible and bend like a pine tree rather than being rigid like the mighty oak and breaking in a storm.
  9. A Family Law solicitor said if one party is pleased in the divorce – then something is not fair. When both people are unhappy about the asset division, then it is fair. I made sure I got the few things that I really desired, the water colour painting of our deceased cat, plus several other items. I refused to get in a battle over our joint personal property which resulted in my husband letting me have a bit more. Hold out for what you really want in the personal property division and do not haggle over every little thing. Not worth the time, increased legal fees and anxiety.
  10. You may be at loggerheads with each other during divorce, but may like each other down the road. Some former couples are friends and even have get-togethers with the new spouses. This is really lovely for the children during the holidays when this happens. Memory has the trick of glossing over the unpleasant parts and this is helpful after divorce.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine   thedivorcemagazine.co.uk after divorce.

Government Plans for Family Law in the Event of a No Deal Brexit

With Brexit negotiations still under way, the government released new plans this month (September 2018) that explain in detail any changes that may happen to Family Law and the judicial system in the unlikely event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal on 29th March 2019.

Currently, as a part of the EU, England, Wales and Northern Ireland follow the Brussels IIA rules when addressing matters of divorce, child custody and international child abduction in the court. According to the new plans released by the government on the 13th September, the Brussels IIA rules would be revoked in the case of a “no deal” Brexit. These changes may also affect the ‘Lis Pendens’ rules – within Family Law, Lis Pendens refers to the courts ability to cease divorce proceedings after an EU court has started the process of the case. Should the UK leave the EU without a deal, Lis Pendens rules would be repealed across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit on the 29th March, Equivalent Hague Conventions are set to replace previous EU rules. The government’s plans, released in September, explain how the previous EU laws would change to Hague Conventions which currently focus on matters of parental responsibility, rules regarding abducted children, central authority cooperation and maintenance recognition and enforcement. Even in the event of a no deal Brexit, Hague Conventions such as the Recognition of Divorces and Legal Separations and the 1970 Conventions will remain international law and will therefore continue in the UK.

In the event of a no deal Brexit, the UK doesn’t plan to axe all previous EU laws. Some of the Civil Family Law conventions the UK government intend on keeping include the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child and the 2007 Hague Convention whereby the government would formally re-join the EU in the event of a no deal Brexit. The UK government have explained within their new plans that any rules and conventions surrounding same sex marriages and civil partnerships will also be replaced with new and independent UK laws.

Come the 29th March 2019, if you are in the middle of divorce or separation proceedings or any other family matters within a UK court, you should continue the process as normal and any case will be dealt with under independent UK rules opposed to EU rules. If you are going through an EU court however, it is suggested that you seek legal advice to determine any changes that may occur in your case as a result of Brexit negotiations.

The new plans released by the government have had both a positive and negative response – with some family law experts believing that a no deal Brexit will have a positive impact on the UK judicial system whilst some fear that new and independent rules will lead to an escalation of stresses and pressures within the court.

Kerry Smith is the Head of Family Law at K J Smith Solicitors, specialist family law solicitors in Reading that deal with a wide range of issues, including divorce, domestic violence, civil partnerships, and prenuptial agreements. Kerry has over 15 years experience in family law and is recommended by the Legal 500 guide to law firms in the UK.

 

What Makes A Couple A Good Candidate For Divorce Mediation?

Marriages can end for a variety of reasons but knowing what those reasons are can be important for the divorce process. Divorce mediation is best for couples separating on amicable terms, or who can at least speak with each other reasonably. Couples with children, aiming to have a cooperative relationship despite the divorce, also benefit more often from mediation. Divorce mediation focuses on the cost of the divorce, in both money and effort, first and foremost.

It Benefits Those Who Part Amicably

Any good divorce mediator will tell you that a couple with children benefit from divorce mediation. One study showed roughly 79% of couples with children who received mediation fought less in the period after their mediation was completed. The children were also asked whether the former couple could cooperate better, or displayed intense arguing before their children, and the study suggested those who sought mediation were more likely to act civil in the child’s eyes.

Divorce mediation also tends to be more forgiving for parents or spouses after the settlement is reached. Arbitration and litigation can set strict guidelines for both sides to achieve, such as child support payment or reparations. These can be harsh or imbalanced for those whose jobs or living situations will be in flux shortly after the divorce, even if the party intending to receive these payments would prefer to show leniency to the other party in the divorce while they recover.

Couples Who Already Know What They Want

Divorce mediation works on the premise that both sides are seeking to reach an agreement. The divorce mediator speaks their mind and helps to outline who is responsible for what costs, and what settlements both parties might receive, but all decisions are reached by the divorcing couple. So, if a couple is unsure of their assets, or simply need a disagreement settled, mediation can help. But when both parties are seeking reparations, arbitration is the better option.

The costs of mediation are lower than the costs of arbitration or civil court. So if both spouses have an idea about what they should receive, and the two beliefs have a large degree of overlap, this can be a sign to use divorce mediation. Divorce mediation is arguably the most cost-efficient manner of settling disagreements caused by the divorce process, and either party can cancel the mediation at any time if they feel that mediation simply wasn’t the right option.

It’s Best for Equals Seeking Privacy

Divorce mediation is best for spouses who treat each other as relative equals during the divorce. Couples divorcing due to domestic abuse or power balances in the relationship should not seek mediation. Most mediators don’t know these circumstances before the meeting, and the domineering spouse can quickly swing the negotiations in their favour. Likewise, victims of abuse often feel validated by speaking to a mediator and become emboldened during the dividing process.

Divorce mediation is also a good choice for spouses who seek an interpersonal discussion with minimal interference. Because mediation focuses on having the two spouses reach an agreement, the meetings are usually restricted to only the two spouses and the mediator themselves. Relatives or friends can be disbarred from the mediation to avoid third-party interests that might muddy the discussion and lead to a more tense, divisive negotiations.

Conclusion

Divorce mediation isn’t a process that is right for every couple. Those who argue about the fundamental elements of the divorce, or whose marriage was short and had few entanglements may wish to skip it. Divorce mediation is also a poor choice for those seeking validation or to prove who’s “right” and “wrong”. But good candidates for mediation include those with children, those who seek a working relationship afterwards, or those who want to keep divorce costs low.

Author of this article is Judith Goldberg   judithgoldberg.com/