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If you missed what we’ve been sharing last month, here’s a round up of our blogs and some of the news posts on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

From our blog:

New year, new you: a fresh start [2022 edition]

 

Our article explores the impact Christmas can have on an already strained relationship or marriage, and how legal advice is a crucial first step towards separating and getting a divorce.

 

Christmas stress and New Year breakups: advice by Rita on BBC Radio Berkshire

 

Considering ending your relationship after the stress of the festive holidays? Take 10 minutes to listen to fellow Director Rita Gupta's  tips and information, as first heard on BBC Radio Berkshire.

 

 

 

“Quite unprecedented”: the ruler of Dubai and the UK divorce settlement

 

Lifelong security, racehorses, jewellery, school fees and more: what the record-breaking High Court divorce settlement for the ruler of Dubai and his ex-wife covers.

 

 

 

 

From our social media:

 

Why the date people are most likely to file for divorce is changing in 2022

With no fault divorce coming into effect on 6th April. Will divorce day be different this year?

 

New online course offers ‘behind the scenes’ look at the Supreme Court

Want an insight into the Supreme Court? This might just be it.

The Supreme Court is offering the public the opportunity to go “behind the scenes” and gain an understanding of the inner workings of the country’s highest court for free.

 

Famous exes who stayed friends

Ending a relationship is never an easy ride, and it can get even more complicated when it's under the gaze of the whole world. Nevertheless, many celebrity exes still somehow remain on good terms afterward. 

 

Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet just gave a masterclass in divorce announcements

The latest divorce announcement

“Their language was careful, the opposite of acrimonious. There was no blame, and if they acknowledged they had grown apart, they attributed it to a normal effect of the passage of time rather than any specific, personal change.”

 

Coercive behaviour: Carwyn Roberts controlled girlfriend

A shocking case.

 

Revealed: Hotspots for divorce as South-East men call time on their relationships

"Interesting for locations: "2021 figures show that males living in the East Midlands or the South-East are more likely to get divorced than those anywhere else in England and Wales"

 

Dog custody: Spain to consider pets’ welfare in divorce battles

Good news for pet owners

“Spain will now consider a pet’s welfare when couples divorce or break-up in a legal shift that strengthens the case for couples obtaining shared custody of their animals.

The decision obliges judges to consider pets as sentient beings rather than objects owned by one or the other partner.”

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver officially divorce after 10-year separation

“After a 35-year marriage and four children together, Shriver filed for divorce in 2011 after Schwarzenegger disclosed he had fathered a child with a member of their household staff years earlier.”

 

I Want What They Have, Divorce Edition: Lisa Bonet and Jason Momoa

Great to see a very positive approach to divorce.

Here are our office hours for the festive season:

Our offices will be closed from

Thursday 23rd December 2021 at 5:00pm

and will re-open on

Tuesday 4th January 2022 at 9.00am

If you need to contact us during this time please use the following email address:

enquiries@lgfamilylawyers.co.uk

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

If you missed what we’ve been sharing last month, here’s a round up of our blogs and some of the news posts on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

From our blog:

Announcing a celebrity split: the very public face of private pain

 

More and more celebrities are sharing important personal announcements on social media, including splits and divorces. However, when these announcements turn into emotional exchanges, how does that impact on their children, their family and their pending divorce case? LGFL Director Rita Gupta explores how the Ioan Gruffodd / Alice Evans example sheds light on why it's so important to think and take time out before clicking the Post button....

 

 

Co-parenting after separation: should you split Christmas Day?

 

If you're separated and have children, you may think that splitting Christmas Day between your two homes might be the fairest option. However, there's a lot of logistics, let alone emotions to consider. Director Rita Gupta has put together her list of pros and cons so you can discuss this with your family and decide what's best for you and your children.

 

 

 

How to make Christmas child arrangements following your separation [Updated 2021]

 

Need to make child arrangement for Christmas period? Fellow Director Rita Gupta explains how a simple letter from a family law firm such as ourselves can help smooth the way for separated and divorced parents.

 

 

 

 

From our social media:

 

“We Did Our Best”: Ben Affleck Says His Marriage Went South for A Lot of the Normal Reasons

The actor, who has spoken openly about addiction before, told Howard Stern that his divorce likely allowed him to quit drinking.

 

Bill Gates Reflects On His Divorce, Being Alone During Covid And The ‘Most Difficult’ Year Of His Life

Even one of the world’s richest men reflects on his family and the pandemic.

 

How to spot the software that could be spying on you

Really important issue to be aware of. Tech abuse and stalking can present real risks.

 

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: A life cut short by cruelty

This is a horrific case of child cruelty. So many questions of how the authorities missed this. Please be aware the article contains distressing content.

 

Climate change causing albatross divorce, says study

Climate change affecting divorce in unexpected ways!

 

Tony's Law: Plans for tougher child abuse sentences confirmed

It follows a campaign for Tony's Law by the adoptive family of seven-year-old Tony Hudgell, who had both legs amputated following abuse.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said the legislation would provide "maximum protection to the most vulnerable".

 

Adele’s Secret Relationship: Why You Should Wait Before Dating After Divorce

Have acted for so many clients who do this.

 

What to expect from The Split series three

Definitely some great viewing.

 

The law is failing domestic abuse victims in England and Wales. But we can change it

"This law change could make the difference in getting thousands of survivors and victims of abuse across the country each year the justice and the protection they need."

 

Art collection owned by divorced couple fetches more than half a billion dollars

That is one large amount to split!

 

Britney Spears' conservatorship is brought to an end after 13 years

Really interesting case. Allegations of abuse within the family and financial control.

 

Erin Pizzey: The woman who looked beyond the bruises

Very insightful article. Abuse does not discriminate.

 

Cheating millionaire wins £120,000 payout after ex-lover banned him from weekend retreat

Interesting case where I think the wife may receive some sympathy!

 

Parents could face costs order for clogging up family court

This will be controversial and challenging for abuse cases.

 

The Guardian view on the family courts: secrecy isn’t working

"Family judges hold immense power, and society as a whole would benefit from an increased understanding of what they do, why they do it, and how this alters the course of hundreds of thousands of lives every year."

 

California high court won't hear Brad Pitt divorce appeal

And still it rumbles on

 

Maid on Netflix Review: This Depiction of Emotional Abuse Is Too Important to Ignore

A great series. It touches on so many issues of abuse. The difficulty in proving the abuse, generational differences in the perception & cycles of abuse. The protagonist herself leaves a trail of destruction behind her as she navigates her life & survival.

 

Domestic abuse offenders in England – not their victims – to be moved away from the family home

Some local authorities in England are looking at ways to provide housing for domestic abuse perpetrators, so enabling their victims to stay in the family home. Such plans are a response to calls from charities and campaigners.

 

Last laugh

Really. "Forgetting" you were divorced?

 

And Finally…

Man pretends to be deaf and dumb for 62 years just to avoid talking to his wife

And apparently his six children and thirteen grandchildren, were also convinced he was deaf.

It’s probably one of the biggest issues amongst separated parents with children; who will the kids spend Christmas Day with?

It’s tempting to think that dividing the day between your two homes is the fairest option. However, moving children from one location to another on Christmas Day itself, even just a few miles apart, is fraught with practical and emotional issues that might outweigh the benefits.

Instead, many separated couples decide to alternate who has the children on Christmas Day, and who has them on Boxing Day. It’s an arrangement that eliminates the challenges of you changing location on such a significant day and ultimately allows you all to have more time together.

Your children can relax too, knowing that they will see their other parent tomorrow for a second day of Christmas fun!

To help you decide, LGFL’s Managing Director Rita Gupta shares her “Christmas Day Split Pros and Cons” list for separated parents, grandparents and extended family.

 

 

Pro

Con

Kids see both parents on Christmas Day. You have to see your ex on Christmas Day…

 

You both give them their presents on the same day.

 

Grumpy kids who want to play with presents but can’t because they are at the other house.

 

Each of you has separate time with the kids.

 

Competition between parents for “best” part of the day. For example, who gets the morning stockings or afternoon walk?

 

You each get half the day to yourself / with your new partner.

 

New partners and family have less time with you. Much of that half day could be spent travelling in between households. Grandparents may feel excluded.

 

Splitting the day keeps it fair for everyone, every year. Sharing the day gives no ‘wriggle room’ for potential disruption by weather, COVID, etc.

 

Children are at their resident parent’s home for part of the day. Children can’t see local friends on the day because they haven’t got time.

 

Positive example of co-parenting if goes smoothly.

 

Negative example if it ends up with arguments between you two over minor details or late arrivals due to traffic.

 

You shared the costs and preparation of meals.

 

You buy and prepare two Christmas dinners for kids who are not hungry or feeling fractious after rushed family meals.

 

Grandparents can be with the kids in their own adult child’s home. Conflicts of interest for grandparents if they get on well with both of you.

 

Children get two parts to their Christmas Day.

 

Children spend too much time travelling in the car and too little time enjoying themselves.

 

Parents can relax and enjoy a drink or two at lunch. Not if you’ve got the children for the morning and need to get them to their other parent’s home. Could lead to disputes over who does the driving and who does the drinking.

 

Kids can enjoy the journey between homes.

 

Only if one or both parents have a car. Public transport doesn’t run on Christmas Day. Taxis will be prohibitively expensive, if available at all.

 

Kids spend Christmas in the UK. Parents can’t take children away for a break or to visit family abroad over the Christmas holiday.

 

Christmas and coercive control

Sadly, Christmas can often be used by less cooperative ex-partners as a bargaining chip. Arrangements for the entire period can also be used as a method of coercive control to cause as much upset as possible at an emotional time. Coercive control is a form of domestic abuse in law. If you feel you are being manipulated by an ex-partner after separation, do contact us for advice and to discuss practical ways to prevent this.

 

Still not sure what to do?

If they are old enough, ask your children. If you include them in making the plans, you already have them onside for the day itself. Discuss this with your ex-partner too; they may not have as strong views on this as you expect, or have other commitments to work around.

Once you’ve decided between you, get that agreement down in writing so it’s (literally) signed and sealed well before Christmas. If you can’t agree, we can draft a Child Arrangement letter that you can both sign up to if required. Your letter should always include a Plan B just in case circumstances change, such as a case of COVID in the family, adverse weather or (heaven forbid) a last-minute lockdown imposed by the government…

 

Need a child arrangement letter?

Contact us to get Christmas child arrangements settled and agreed well in advance of Santa’s arrival.

- Call us

- Email us

- Send us a message

Here are our office hours for the festive season:

Our offices will be closed from

Wednesday 23rd December 2019 at Midday

and will re-open on

Monday 4th January 2021 at 9.00am

If you need to contact us during this time please use the following email address:

enquiries@lgfamilylawyers.co.uk

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

As family lawyers we are aware more than most of the pressures on families this year. For Christmas 2020, we’re focusing on local charities that help families and those in need here in the Reading area, nationally and internationally.

Charities have had a tough year due to the pandemic, yet their help and support has never been in such high demand. Many families who in 2019 never thought they would need help, suddenly found themselves struggling to cope. The same applied to the hard-working front line staff of the NHS, pushed to limits they too had never encountered before.

To continue with our ethos of supporting charities, communities and families this year LGFL have supported a number of causes.

The Salvation Army

Our first charity we’ve chosen to support is the Salvation Army in Reading, helping local people in need affected by the pandemic. Their tireless community work includes helping families, older people and the homeless, sadly a growing community at present due to economic hardships.

The Salvation Army’s practical, on the ground support includes:

  • ‘Meals on wheels’ Christmas lunches and companionship to older people living alone
  • Christmas food parcels to families who are struggling to afford a proper Christmas lunch
  • Distributing modest toys to children whose parents are unable to afford presents this Christmas
  • Hot food, blankets and hygiene kits for rough sleepers
  • Day centres where the homeless can access specialist help

 

Creating Better Futures

This COVID pandemic is having a global impact, affecting families and children worldwide. Before COVID-19 was even identified, we sponsored a girl in Zimbabwe through Reading-based charity Creating Better Futures. Plaxedes wants to become a policewoman, and our sponsorship ensures she can stay in school and fulfill her dream. This year we also sent a gift box, created with the help of the charity, to ensure the contents were right for her and her family. Most of this will be essential items that Plaxedes and her family need, but will be so grateful for. A reality check for us all.

Reading School

While NHS charities benefitted from high-profile fundraisers such as the inspirational Captain Tom, many businesses and organisations were quietly helping out at grass roots level, supporting their local NHS staff in practical ways. One of these was Reading School, a leading state secondary school here in Reading with academic results and an ethos that rival the best.

The school focuses on ‘building good men’, and well-rounded leaders of the future who have a responsibility to the wider world around them.

The school has always had a strong philanthropic ethos, and students are encouraged to actively fundraise for a variety of causes throughout the year. These continued throughout lockdown 1.0 and beyond, with the school teaching a full curriculum throughout remotely. Staff and pupils still found time to help NHS workers and their local community, making national news as thought-leaders

This included providing:

  • Food parcels and essential items to Reading School families most affected by the COVID crisis and until school resumed.
  • Education and care for vulnerable children and children of key workers.
  • Over 850 meals provided for children of NHS staff and key workers.
  • Weekly cakes and treats delivered to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, and four local care homes, provided by the Reading School community to keep their spirits up.
  • 350 meals served daily at the Royal Berkshire Hospital to front line workers.
  • 44 accommodation units hosted on the school site for the NHS, as featured in the national news.
  • Connecting with their alumni and over 300 Old Redingensians over the age of 65 and shielding, to ensure they were not in any undue difficulties.

It is as a result of the above initiatives that we are so proud to be able to support the school and their work beyond the classroom in developing charitable initiatives and habits that students will carry forward into their adult lives.

 

Charities in 2021

LGFL will continue to support local, national and international charities in 2021, as we have done ever since the company was founded twelve years ago. We believe that by helping various charities rather than just one, we can help more of them through these difficult times and support a range of initiatives.

As we say, we are a small firm with a big heart.

If you’d like to join us, here are the links to donate. If you’re a UK taxpayer, remember to Gift Aid any donation, so the charity gets the maximum benefit.

Salvation Army:

Creating Better Futures:

Reading School:

Browse charities in need of your help:

2020 has been a tough year on relationships, speeding up the break-up of marriages and partnerships already fractured or damaged by lockdowns and income insecurity.

This process has inevitably increased at Christmas in most years, when the media is filled with picture perfect images of families coming together and celebrating. This year, the ‘big 5’ supermarket adverts would have us believe that everyone has a family to welcome them home with open arms, a stacked table of food, and a glass or six. At least the adverts are more inclusive than before, embracing the diversity of types of families and relationships, but they still leave many with a sinking feeling.

They have also pretty much ignored the single biggest family stress factor this year; which are going to be the two households your family socialises with during the ‘bubble’ Five Days of Christmas period?

 

Take your pick

For many families, especially blended and extended families, the need to pick just two households to meet with (and only two) will make for some uncomfortable and potentially confrontational decisions.

  • Does that automatically mean two sets of grandparents but no siblings, for example?
  • Or one set of grandparents and one siblings’ family?
  • Or one sibling and one set of best friends?

The permutations can be endless. (At least children of separated or divorced parents can move between their parents’ homes without restriction as before.)

Bubbles and friends

These five-day only bubble arrangements are bound to place strains on relationships. Each partner could potentially be resentful that their access to extended family is curbed at Christmas in favour of their partner’s families.

For separated parents, the pressure is even greater, with potential conflicts of interest between four sets of grandparents, several siblings and new partners too. Add in the logistics of juggling all of this within a five-day period, especially if long distances are involved, and resentment will start to build.

It’s all too easy for discussions to turn into arguments too. For single parents already facing the prospect of Christmas Day on their own without the kids, this situation can evolve into anger, sadness and resentment. Their lives have changed so much, and don’t fit the media images we are all exposed to. They may also feel that their former partner or spouse seems to be getting the better deal all the time. Normally polite discussions and agreements over child arrangements can quickly become acrimonious phone calls, emails and texts, that make the matter worse.

Once the Five Days are over, it’s back to the Tier system ‘rule of six’. Then, arguments over those you both want to meet outside (and where), could just add to the feelings of unfairness and frustration.

How to cope with Christmas 2020

First of all, don’t be reactive. If a message comes in from your ex partner that gets you angry or upset, set it aside for a period of time. Don’t dash off a text or message immediately. Being a keyboard warrior may make you feel better momentarily, but it rarely resolves anything. Remember, texts and messages are often produced as evidence in future court proceedings, so do consider how this reflects on you and your values.

Instead, be child focused and consider their wishes. It’s their Christmas too.

 

It’s over…

For many couples already struggling in their marriage, December is the point where they decide enough is enough. Whilst they may ‘stay together for the children’ over Christmas, they want to start proceedings in December and make a ’fresh start’ in the New Year.

Sometimes this is a good tactic - but this year hasn’t been normal. If you have a complex family situation, trying to start proceedings before the schools break up or by the Christmas holiday period may be just too much to achieve.

Instead, we would advise to seek early legal advice this side of Christmas. This allows you to understand the implications and overall picture, so you can plan for action. Early advice can also relieve a whole layer of stress and worry, giving you time to relax and recoup your energy for resolving your situation in the New Year. Most importantly, it will give you a chance to reflect on your case objectives and the legal proceedings ahead.

 

The January rush - will a lockdown Christmas create one?

At LGFL we never advocate or promote the so-called media labelled ‘Divorce Day’. However, with the added stresses this year of a Covid Christmas, it is likely that many relationships will be pushed to their limit. Add that to the court’s existing backlog, which could lead to delays.

If, however, you have already contacted us before Christmas and we have had that initial conversation, we know what your situation is. We know what you require, and we can move forward swiftly in January 2021 to resolve your issues or proceed with your divorce without delay.

So, if you’re feeling anxious or concerned about what ending a relationship after Christmas might involve, talk to us now. An hour of professional, focused, legal consultation may not be the most exciting gift you could give yourself this holiday season, but it is probably the most important. It will also help relieve that pre-Xmas tension, give you space and time to enjoy those key five days with at least some of your family, and reflect on how you wish your future to look.

 

Fixed fee initial consultation

Book an hour initial consultation and we’ll give you 30 minutes free. So you can talk through your situation, receive advice and spend less too.

- Call us

- Email us

- Book your 1 hour online appointment with 30 minutes included free

If you missed what we’ve been sharing last month, here’s a round up of our blogs and some of the news posts on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

From our blog:

Divorce in 2020: child arrangements for celebrities

 

How do Hollywood A-listers co-parent after divorce? Managing Director Rita Gupta uncovers some positive ways A-listers make their child arrangements after separating.

 

Pre-nups: who needs one and why

 

Pre-nups for all: why every couple getting married should make a pre-nup, and why they are not just for Hollywood A-listers!

 

 

 

Domestic abuse against men: the 2020 ManKind Conference

male domestic abuse caller

 

The latest research into domestic violence against men as revealed at the ManKind Initiative Conference in November.

 

 

 

How to make Christmas 2020 child arrangements following your separation

 

Are you a recently-separated parent and need to plan that crucial five day festive period under the new COVID Christmas rules? A child arrangements letter can help both of you decide on who gets the kids, when. Our latest article from Director Rita Gupta explains more.

 

 

 

From our social media:

The oligarch's divorce saga rumbles on

Tatiana Akhmedova’s son accused of foul play in £453m divorce.

 

Millions of parents say they’d cancel Christmas if they could

A sad statistic to read, as we move into December.

Our latest article on our website gives some ideas on how separated parents can organise Christmas, rather than perhaps cancel it.

 

So, what is Good Divorce Week?

Resolution’s annual campaign which aims to promote the constructive ways their members can help separating couples. This year the emphasis is on the Resolution "Code of Practice".

 

Splitting up by also splitting the costs

More and more couples are keen to share the cost of separation by instructing one solicitor.

 

From our social media:

Brad Keeps His Judge

And still it rumbles on for Brangelina.

 

Supreme Court launches career journey podcast to encourage top court hopefuls

For those considering applying, you can listen to the other Justices speaking about their career path and why they applied to become a Justice, as well as sharing insights into what the application process felt like and what advice they would give someone considering applying.

 

McFarlane alarmed by weekend demand for skeleton arguments

"It is plain that the system is at present running low in terms of the personal reserves of the human beings who work within it. "

 

Is it possible to divorce 'well' during a lockdown?

"Having the right team behind you is invaluable for a lockdown divorce, when you’ll need more support than ever."

We couldn't have said it better

 

UK’s top court could soon have just one woman judge

Something to think on for retaining diversity.
"The UK Supreme Court could be left with just one woman judge in a few months’ time, risking a reversal of progress on diversity on the bench, campaigners have warned."

 

A shock is in store for international divorcing couples

As per this FT Adviser article: A shock is in store for international divorcing couples. Brexit may pose some difficulties for parties in international divorce.

 

 

Here are our office hours for the festive season:

Our offices will be closed from

Monday 23rd December 2019 at 5.30pm

and will re-open on

Thursday 2nd January 2020 at 9.00am

 

If you need to contact us during this time please use the following email address:

enquiries@lgfamilylawyers.co.uk

 

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.