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.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Hurricane Harvey

 Reading the news in the last few days, I note that the reality for many people caught up in Hurricane Harvey is that they will never again be able to go back to their homes which will, it seems, have to be demolished.  Of course, there are far worse things that can happen but it is still pretty devastating.  When we hear about something like a flood, earthquake or a tornado and the destruction that follows natural disasters, we are brought face to face with the human price of such terrible events.  But people lose their homes as a normal part of life every day of the week.  Marital or relationship breakdown is a normal part of life.  Sometimes, the consequences of relationship breakdown can be avoidable with a little bit of forward thinking or as we, alternative dispute resolution practitioners (mediators, collaborators etc) like to say future planning.
One of the questions family lawyers get asked all the time is what will happen to our house or will our house have to be sold?  It is not inevitable that the house would have to be sold and it is not inevitable that it should go to one or other of the parties, leaving the other with nothing.  In fact, that latter scenario rarely happens these days in any situation.  However, with rents spiraling out of control and some marital or family houses still in negative equity, it can be a rough ride to figure out what to do when the relationship breaks down? 

Experienced family lawyers will discuss a menu of options with their respective clients.  Collaboration is one such option amongst several which works with you and your partner/spouse to calmly review all the options available and select what makes sense for the family as a whole. Everyone is part of the discussion at the same time and everyone is resolution focussed.  We call it the synergy of team and it can be transformative.  Difficult life decisions and hard choices are best handled sensitively with a dedicated team.   Don’t despair when presented with such a situation, take some time and get the right advice.   

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