Something for the Week End - Friday 31st January 2014 - Family Law Partners

Something for the Week End – Friday 31st January 2014

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Despite the wet weather we’re all gearing up for the weekend here at FLP Towers after an extremely busy and varied week. January has flown by!

Here’s what the team have been up to:


This week I have been drafting documents for a First Directions Appointment, advising a client upon the effect of the agreement that he has negotiated and drafted a letter of instruction to a pension expert Finally, I have also been perusing the prams at Mothercare in preparation for our new arrival due in August!

Congratulations to Chris and his wife, Kate, from all the team! Our first FLP baby!


Really interesting week, reading report dealing with child welfare, attending court as the in court mediator, in London for a meeting as a founding partner for Kids in the Middle a charity to help children in the middle of the breakdown of their parents relationship, couple of lunches with family lawyers that I have knows and respected for years, telephone appointment with client in the US, drafting documents for court, meeting with client about current court proceedings. Not even packed for skiing next week.


The new enquiries coming into me this week have mainly been pre-nuptial agreements ahead of second marriages. Those are more positive endeavours than our more usual fare of divorce, separation, children and Inheritance Act Disputes. I’m gearing up for two difficult final hearings even though they are some months off. I have spent more time on my blog at this month dealing with readers’ anxieties about cohabiting with a new partner whilst that partner has not finalised their divorce.


The contrast for me has been collaboration and confrontation. Both cases had huge emotional issues. The collaborative process enables these to be shared and addressed. It enables the parties to see and hear how the other is feeling, the impact of the life changing event on them and the family. Left unchecked the emotional damage can be significant and long lasting. Variation proceedings should not be dealt with by the courts. The process is too cumbersome, lacks focus and is too costly. It can end up a forum for sharing a party’s hurt and pain. They can share with other’s the injustice they perceive they are experiencing. No, no no – that is not what the court is for, but as lawyers how often have we run with such cases? Add to that the emotion of our middle son going abroad to do his last set of exams at his school, the exciting of the arrival of Juan Mata, the tension of deadline day and coping with an Evertonian colleague in tatters from a midweek mauling and I am well and truly whacked!


Another week has flown by. I have spent the majority of the week focussing on a statement for a client who is going through very difficult and emotional court proceedings in relation to her children. Thankfully the collaborative model has again been dominant in my working week – I attended a very long but productive four way meeting where the couple focussed on practical and constructive solutions to their financial issues surrounding their separation. I also saw a new client who is struggling to liaise with her former partner about child maintenance and school fees – it was clear from our discussions that Mediation would be a great starting point for her and her former partner.


This week alongside day-to-day client enquiries I have been setting up the team’s Communications Calendar which is a vital tool to support business performance by an effective, timely, two way flow of information. On a personal note I’m looking forward to the Chinese New Year celebrations at our house tonight for our student and her friends; authentic Chinese cuisine, fireworks and sparklers. Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Come back next week for our first blog of February!


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