My Blog

My blog is meant to inform but its primary purpose is not to be informative. It is about the law but it is not solely about the law but also about those places the law does not go. The law is the platform from which I dive. My blog is about my opinions but is not primarily about my opinions since I often temper these to the subject matter on hand, not to mention the imagined audience. Quite often when I open a subject which is related to the law for discussion, I find myself in a place I never meant to be, or to go, as if the subject takes on a life of its own. I write articles based on what I do for a living, and I am a family lawyer, but of course that is not all I am. I find that when I engage with a subject, and use writing to express my thoughts, that quite often the journey is more interesting than the end and that what I thought I was writing about is not what I wrote about at all. This seems to me to be a metaphor for life. I write, therefore, to throw some light into the dark, to increase my understanding and by extension hopefully, other people’s understanding of what often seems incomprehensible, to enliven the dull so my spirit does not sag and to throw some humour at what is often deeply sad so that I can, or maybe, dare I say hopefully, “we”, can gain perspective. I doubt I succeed but the effort is honest.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


The World is holding its breath while North Korea taunts the US President.   Headlines tell the World, meaning, the Donald, to exercise restraint.  President Trump does not appear from experience so far to do restraint.  How easy is it for any of us to exercise restraint?  Not very easy at all particularly if we are in a crisis of some sort and particularly one which touches us right at our core. 
I know from practising family law over many years that restraint is a virtue in short supply in this area at any rate.  And yet restraint is key to our coming out the other side of relationship breakdown intact and with our family and values intact.  What happens if we don’t exercise restraint?  Complete chaos to put it in a nutshell.  If a partner tells you that he or she is seeing someone else, will it help to thrash their car, clothes, lock them out of the house, scream and rant in front of children – no, of course, it won’t!  It is nonetheless a fairly typical response. It is, however, a damaging response particularly for children.

What can we do in the event of a relationship breakdown to ensure we do not “lose it” with disastrous consequences, and that we behave with restraint?  Well, first of all, we should acknowledge that we need help to deal with this. A good lawyer is essential, as is a good counsellor.  Pick a lawyer who is not going to escalate the row as all that will do is cost you more money than it needs to and alienate everyone so that healing is nearly impossible.  Your lawyer should be able to tell you all about the fabulous alternatives that are now available instead of going to court.  Alternatives, such as mediation, collaboration, managed negotiation.  There are many and varied ways of practising each of these processes or “actions” as I like to call them. It is important that you pick the right one for you with the help of your team.  Of course, your lawyer will also know all about the traditional routes as well, however, these tend to be expensive and not always suitable. You should make an informed decision, calmly.  As well as your lawyer, you need a good counsellor to see you through. Talk to your lawyer about this.