A toolkit for family breakdown in the lockdown

The coronavirus crisis is redefining lifestyles and the boundaries of our interactions; a situation that can challenge even the strongest bonds.  For couples who are struggling in their relationship, or trying to manage co-parenting, anxiety levels are likely to be heightened if it seems there is nowhere to turn, while personal movements are restricted and even the family courts are working remotely.  "For myself, and my colleagues across the country, being a family lawyer means being there for all the challenges, not just the day in court, and at this…

MIAM – What you need to know about family mediation

Family breakups are, without doubt, one of the most stressful and upsetting processes anyone can go through. This is particularly true if there are children involved, and/or the separation is not amicable. Divorce can be a long, drawn-out process that can also hit your finances hard, especially if every communication is done through a solicitor. ‘Quickie’ divorces are not as easy to arrange as you may think and if you’re heading for the family law courts, you have to go through a period of mediation beforehand. MIAM was introduced in…

When the end of summer spells the end of marriage

September is traditionally a time of new beginnings, with children off to school or university and parents back to work, but for many couples, the end of summer can spell the end of marriage. Lawyers often talk about ‘divorce day’ in January and report a similar surge when summer holidays are over, and research1 looking at the timing of divorce petitions bears this out, with peaks after the summer and winter holidays.  The researchers suggest that while troubled couples may view holidays as a time to stand together for children…

Access Disputes – how to settle your differences without going to court

Whether you are married, in a civil partnership or just living together, splitting up can be an emotional time. If there are children involved, the feelings of hurt and anger can be magnified. However, this is the time when your children need you to be at your most level-headed. With Legal Aid now only offered in a handful of cases, more couples are trying to resolve their differences without going to court. While it may not be possible in every case, settling issues such as access to children without appearing…

Aiming for a win-win separation

When celebrities divorce, it makes for big headlines. Since Johnny Depp and Amber Heard announced their separation a few weeks ago, the most private aspects of their life together has been played out in public and open for examination by the media and online commentators. With court documents detailing lavish lifestyles and counter-accusations of drug taking and abuse, the proceedings look set to secure many more headlines as they unfold. By contrast, BBC2’s TV latest series, Mr & Mrs: Call the Mediator, shows a different side to divorce, with negotiated…

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