July 31, 2009
From a child’s point of view the prospect of their parents divorcing must surely be an unsettling time? But divorce does not always have to cause lasting pain.
When parents decide to separate, depending on their age, developmental stage and their ability to handle stress, children will often experience new and unnerving emotions.
They may feel anger, confusion or anxiety. Is it their fault that Mummy and Daddy don’t talk anymore? Are they to blame?
Children are likely to be unsure what life will look like when their parent’s have split up and this uncertainty will almost certainly affect their thoughts about the future. For instance, if their father is the parent to leave the marital home, they may worry that they will never see him again?
Quite often parents upset by the divorce themselves may not find the time to ensure that the love, support and re-assurance their children require is offered. This can lead to further worries, insecurity and upset. If, however they ensure that the information their children are provided with supports and informs them, then it is more than likely this will ease some of their stress and confusion.
Children in the midst of divorce proceedings are living in a tumultuous world, and it is parents who take the time to re-assure and show their children they can be counted on for stability who are helping to make certain that their separation does not have a lasting effect.
July 27, 2009
Any sudden or dramatic change in a person’s life can be distressing; this is especially true for something as landscape altering as a divorce. The ending of a marriage is usually seen as nothing but a negative occurrence, however this does not have to be true and a divorce can be seen as positive and a new beginning in life.
A divorce should be looked at as like clearing out a wardrobe that is full to the brim of clothes that don’t fit, are out of fashion and will never be worn again. Once all of these clothes have been moved out, new items can be bought and there is a fresh feeling that you get with new clothes. Although divorce is often dreadful for all parties involved, it will ultimately prove to be a positive step and a chance to move onto a new phase in life which will ensure everybody involved, from the in-laws to your children, are happier than they are now.
If there are children, they are the most important people involved. It is crucial that they are kept informed of developments but not forced to take sides or made to feel guilty or at fault for the divorce. Parents should tread carefully and be even more sensitive than usual during this difficult time as bad memories at this stage could have an influence on them in later life. Eventually though, the divorce will prove a positive for them and for you.
July 25, 2009
In an attempt to “save saveable marriages,” a conservative think tank in the UK, the Social Justice Policy Group, has urged for the law to impose a compulsory three month ‘cool off’ period on couples to think over their marriage & reconsider reconciliation.
The report, ‘Every Family Matters’, commissioned by ex Tory Leader Iain Duncan Smith also seeks a network of family relationship centers to advise couples before and during marriage. It suggests a wide range of measures to reform family law & bring down divorce rates which include tax breaks to promote marriage & reversing Labour proposals to offer rights to unmarried cohabiting couples.
With regards to the root cause of marriage disintegration in the UK, Mr. Duncan said that compared to their grandparents, couples today have very high expectations of their marriage which are “far beyond actually what it will deliver”. The document thus propagates governmental encouragement for couples to seek counseling; a suggestion derived from a similar Australian programme. It also says that would be couples should receive “strong encouragement” to attend pre-marriage counseling. Mr. Duncan added that “You do not need a £20,000 themed wedding to be a happily-married couple”. He argued that taxpayer funded counseling, combined with other plans could save Britain millions of pounds that it spends on ‘social breakdown’
Though polling suggests that 84% of the people think it is important for the law to support marriage, the report has invited brickbats from many. Sandra Sinclair, senior partner with SAS Daniel solicitors says, “This is not a well-thought-through proposal. There is already in place by law a compulsory period of one year from the date of the marriage before divorce proceedings can be instigated.” [The Legal Week]
“This is typical of a potential paternalistic Executive which is completely out of touch with reality if they believe that separating couples take the decision to divorce lightly.” She added.
In an article on her website, prominent divorce solicitor Marilyn Stowe says with regards to the suggestions that
“They are acutely traditional and backward-looking. They indicate a refusal to face up to the overwhelming social changes that have affected millions of people and are here to stay. “
The government currently spends 350 million pounds on marriage services through the children, young people & families grant.
July 23, 2009
A new study from Denver University shows a relationship between cohabitation prior to marriage and an increased likelihood of divorce.
One thousand couples were asked by researchers whether they had ever considered separating. Around twenty percent of those who shared a home before getting engaged said they’d contemplated invoking the services of a divorce lawyer. By contrast, the figure was only ten percent for those who lived apart until tying the knot.
With prenuptial cohabitation rising, some academics are suggesting that they may have found one explanation for the high divorce rate seen in recent decades. Fifty-nine percent of those questioned in Denver University’s survey lived together before marrying. This marks a huge shift. Cohabitation is believed to have increased by as much as one thousand percent since the 1980s.
The findings illustrate a growing trend for marriage to be seen as a logical ‘next step’ for the modern couple. Matrimony is no longer considered the most significant point of personal commitment to those in long-term relationships. Rather, it is an inevitability that stems naturally from the decision to live together. Report author Galena Rhodes commented,
“We think some couples who move in together without a clear commitment to marriage may wind up sliding into marriage partly because they are already cohabiting.”
Divorce may well have become the ready-made antidote to the trivialisation of marriage.
July 21, 2009
The inevitable feeling of ‘being a failure’ when a divorce seems inevitable, must be the universal feeling of everyone who has ever contemplated or taken the final step. Many people feel that they have somehow become a complete failure and this can have a very debilitating effect on their whole lives.
Of course, this a very normal human feeling and must be seen in context of the whole of the circumstances.
The marriage may have been initially very happy but gradually, as often happens, something occurs to make one or both of the partners unhappy. Many marriages manage to overcome these difficulties and go on to last a lifetime, but others, sadly do not.
If you are contemplating divorce you need to consider the following:
Firstly, unless the partners were in an arranged marriage, they must have loved one another once, or perhaps, and here is the rub, they thought that they did., which really amounts to the same thing. If you feel now that you actually hate your spouse and cannot contemplate staying together no matter what, consider that hate is akin to love, they both being the strongest human emotions and both require huge amounts of emotional energy. Could it be that a little talking and airing of problems might make a difference, after all, it is a well known fact that many people do not talk and ‘fester’ in silence, expecting the other partner to know what is wrong
No matter how long the marriage lasted, be it long or short, the intimacy, both sexual and social, in a marriage is unlike any other relationship and after divorce that intimacy will no longer be there and you may find that it is something that you cannot very well do without
The intricacies created with other family members must also be taken into account – the various siblings and other family members of the spouse; after all, you may very well have very friendly and loving relationships with them and maybe, you do not want to divorce them as well.; quite often after divorce, probably because of ill-feeling on either side, these relationships are terminated, to the detriment of both parties.
Most importantly, the presence of children, be they children of the current marriage or indeed step-children;
as is very well known, children are the ones who usually suffer most for many reasons, the main one being the fact that they love both of their parents and cannot be seen to take sides without feeling disloyal to either of them. There are endless problems relating to children of divorced parents and each case is different and special but all the ramifications need to be carefully considered. This is a very emotive subject and would need a whole set of volumes to discuss all the probabilities
All of the foregoing being considered it may well be that you feel that you cannot stay married and that divorce is inevitable – there are a myriad of reasons and each marriage is individual and unique, so if you do decide to take the final step, if you feel that you have tried your best and done everything that would be considered reasonable, please do not consider yourself a failure. You are human after all and each person has their own level of tolerance and forgiveness.
Consider this: you do not know what a person’s life is like unless you walk in his shoes and you also do not know what goes on behind closed doors, therefore, when you feel that everyone else has a perfect life, it is just not true. Everyone on earth has some problem or another and when you have reached the end of your tolerance, you must do what is right for you because you are the one who will have to carry on and live the rest of your life.
For many divorced people, after the final step, there is a new lease of life and they may well stay single, but many go on to try the marriage game again and are often very happy.
July 15, 2009
Divorce rates have started to soar once again. Compared to the delightful decrease recognised in the last couple of years, this year divorce has seemed to strike marriages again as divorce lawyers are being called in. The reason? Surprisingly, the recession. With the credit crunch seemingly pushing society into debt, it doesn’t really seem the right time to go paying those divorce lawyers now does it?
The last few years, crediting the areas of 2006 and 2007, divorce rates were decreasing unexpectedly. According to National Statistics:
‘in 2007 the provisional divorce rate in England and Wales fell to 11.9 divorcing people per 1,000 married population compared with the 2006 figure of 12.2.’
Therefore acknowledging divorce rates at their lowest levels since 1981. However, since the rise of the credit crunch, couples are now feeling the pressure and financial woes are contributing towards those domestic arguments, leading to separation.
Also supporting the evidence of the up rise in divorce is The Local Government Association (LGA), who conducted a survey which found that a 93 percentage of local authorities have noticed an increase in relationship counselling since the dawn of the recession.
It seems the worry of debt and being strapped for cash has taken its toll on married couples, who are starting to feel the pinch of the credit crunch, not only in their pockets but in their marriage. It is expected that a record number of couples are set to end their relationship this year due to the lack of cash flow. Christmas was the first recognition of the pressure on marriage and the financial issues the recession has created; over two million couples are now expected to seek legal advice this year. With this prospect it is clear that the divorce rates within the United Kingdom are to once again soar to new levels.
July 12, 2009
In a fundamental society that relies on fabricated images of these celebrity casualties, we can strongly confess that divorce is a main suspect. Divorce is a sensitive subject for us all, but for an A-list celebrity, family news is now front-page news on the globalisation grand stand. Divorce appears to be at its highest peak, becoming the norm in our society.
For such celebrities as Jon and Kate Gosselin, their divorce settlement was forced to be announced on air after their divorce papers were filed to the whole world. Even if one has not been through the unsteady motion of divorce, we all know that entering divorce means entering a new division. This division is arranged by agents such as divorce lawyers and divorce solicitors; and often those ‘divorce spectators’ – family and friends.
Placed into such celebrity shoes as the Gosselin’s, divorce really is an order of surviving and surviving the pain that it latter entails. Family and friends are always there to give you comforting advice and support, but we should never allow them to become these ‘divorce spectators’ who can undoubtedly dominate our thoughts at such an emotional time. Furthermore, everyone has their own opinions, and therefore in such a society we need to do our best to accommodate our own well-being. In addition, family and friends need to keep their own opinions neutral, offering a shoulder in need when needed.
When there appears to be two in this relationship, there is indeed another. Divorce lawyers and divorce solicitors play a big part in the matter, but the children often have no say. Firstly, you should ask the question what is best for them. Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillipee have pulled it together for their two children Ava and Deacon, who find themselves attending school plays together. All it really takes is complacency and understanding, retaining a sustaining environment where both you and your children are involved. In order to do so, methods such as encouraging questions will help to run the process of understanding; and depending on how old they are they must always know that they are loved in this ‘mixed-up’ world. Maintaining a relationship with the children when access is granted can be a great way to bond and keep your children at ease. All it takes is a trip to the cinema or a seaside expedition, and already you’re on the road to keeping your divorce composed.
Divorce is commonly becoming part of the ideology, and therefore celebrity divorce gossip is news central; and the ‘smaller’ and important members of society are often discarded in thought. They are not the ‘divorce spectators’. They merely play the role of an audience, enduring these battles between parents that feel as if a mountain of weights has been assigned to them. Nevertheless, you can buy tabloids and magazine spreads, but you can’t buy your children’s comfort and love.
July 9, 2009
When a marriage breaks down, even if you know it is irreparable, it can still be a shock when ‘divorce’ is mentioned. It seems so final. The future you envisaged with someone will never happen and this realisation can be devastating.
Having to navigate a new path in life is scary and can be overwhelming. This is when you may be tempted to fantasise that the past life you had with your partner was more idealistic than it really was. Focusing on the good times can be healthy – remember those times and why they were happy. But also remember that relationships break down for a reason and more often than not, it is no one person’s fault. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and it can be easy to obsess over how you could have handled situations differently, reacted more calmly, said the ‘right’ thing, wishing you hadn’t done what you’ve done – in a divorce, these thoughts are natural.
Rather than look to place individual blame, try to think about the relationship as a whole and why it did and did not work. When were things good? When did they change? Why were we unable to overcome these differences? It may be painful to think about but when these questions can be answered, you will start to accept that, although there were happy times, the relationship did not work for many reasons. What can you take from this? Analysing the past in this constructive way can help you learn something from the experience and build on this for future fulfilment.
But don’t hold on too tightly to the past – as it can stop you ever moving on. Address the many questions you have going through your mind but then let them go. Getting stuck dwelling on these feelings is destructive and will consume the energy you need to rebuild your life. It might be scary but the future can be exciting. Divorce may be the end of a relationship but it is the beginning of new possibilities.
July 6, 2009
Divorce was first legalised in 1857 when it was becoming a growing trend in the adult population of the time. Since then the percentage of divorces in the UK population have steadily increased and the UK alone has flown the flag for the most divorce cases in the EU in the past.
Now the country is experiencing a relatively low percentage of divorces and maybe this is down to the expense of proceedings. With most divorces averaging a cost of around £25,000 and while the nation is plunged into a depth of financial insecurity it is easy to understand why people are just ‘putting up with each other’. There are cheaper options however which depend on which way you wish the divorce is settled.
Statistics show that men and women in their late 20’s have the highest divorce rates while most marriages by some unofficial sources are given a lifespan of just two years. The main reasons for these premature break ups are placed into five categories; adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, the consenting of both parties who have not lived together for at least two years and also the consent of the two parties who have lived apart for more than five years.
With the current recession however is it still going to be adultery that heads the list for the most cases of divorce? The population has less opportunity to socialise under the forced shortage in spending which could ultimately lead to happier marriages as families are forced to spend more time in the home together.
With reports suggesting that 98% of the 60,000 children who live in care in the UK being victims of divorce or family break up it would be good news to hear that the one good thing to maybe come out of the recession is longer lasting marriages and happier family environments.
At the same time it could be a lack of money which causes unreasonable behaviour to leapfrog adultery in the list of divorce categories so the percentage will rise again and maybe the UK would once again don that divorce flag for the rest of Europe to behold.
July 3, 2009
Divorce, or the dissolution of a matrimonial agreement, is a process that has been present within society for centuries; Henry IIV petitioned the Pope for the first divorce in 1530. However, divorce has been viewed by society with varying perceptions; from a stigmatisation when preliminarily introduced to wider society at the end of the eighteen century, to being seen as ‘popular’ during the 1960s. In modern society, divorce rates are declining, with less people divorcing in 2007 compared to 2006, resulting in the lowest number of divorces recorded since 1981. Despite this, it is still predicted that nearly half of marriages will end in divorce. Therefore, it is imperative that the law is sufficiently certain and clear, and accompanied with adequate support and advice, for all those going through, or who may be affected by, the unsettling experience of a divorce.
The law governing divorce has been subject to many alterations since it was first introduced. Today the area of divorce is covered by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. Some areas of this Act were superseded by the Family Law Act 1996, but not all as some of the proposals of the 1996 Act were ever enacted. Currently, there are five ‘grounds’ for bringing about a divorce; adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, two years consensual separation or five years non-consensual separation. The majority of divorce proceedings occur under the first two options, this is often because the decision to divorce is often a complete finality and people want the process over swiftly.
Initially, the protocols regarding finances and dependants must be discussed: After these are satisfied a petition for divorce can be filed. It is not compulsory to consult legal advice when initiating divorce proceedings and in some cases, such as the divorce not being defended, it may not be necessary. However, as some documents contain terminology that the lay person may not be familiar with, it is often advisable to consult a solicitor.
There are three phases to obtaining a divorce. Phase one is to file a petition to the court stating the subsequent grounds for the divorce; the court then informs the respondent who will complete a return of acknowledgement of service certifying agreement (if not defended). Finally, a written application for directions (the formal application for divorce derived from the facts) is submitted by the court.
The second phase is obtaining the decree nisi. Here the court will consider the evidence submitted by the parties, if satisfied the decree nisi is granted and formally announced in court. If not than the parties may offer further evidence to support their claim.
The third and final stage is for the petitioner (or respondent if petitioner fails) to apply for a decree absolute, completing the divorce.
As long as people continue to enter into marriage, divorce is inevitable. The most important consideration is that the process is achieved as amicably as possible.