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Gatekeepers to divorce

Gatekeepers to divorce

    If you would like to find out more about how to divorce amicably, please contact Kim Beatson by phone for a no-obligation conversation on 020 7940 4011 or by email at kim.beatson@anthonygold.co.uk.   Kim Beatson: Mediator & Collaborative Lawyer   Find out how to divorce without fighting by clicking here…....

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Cohabiting and Common Law Marriage

Cohabiting and Common Law Marriage

  The Myth of Common Law Marriage   Half of the population thinks that Common Law marriage exists according to social attitude surveys which are published annually.  It is a dangerous misconception.   In this podcast interview by Alternative Divorce Guide Suzy Miller with Collaborative Lawyer Kim Beatson of Anthony Gold Solicitors, Kim explains the harsh reality of not getting married when having a family – if you are to later split up.     “There is no such thing as a Common Law...

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Change the tone of your divorce using Collaborative Law

Change the tone of your divorce using Collaborative Law

Interview by Alternative Divorce Guide Suzy Miller with Collaborative Lawyer Kim Beatson of Anthony Gold Solicitors     “For me, training as a Collaborative practitioner was a natural progression from being already an experienced Mediator. Some couples feel that Mediation is just too overwhelming for them, if they are struggling with the emotional and psychological aspects of divorce and family breakup, and those clients may want some partisan help during the negotiations.  They feel...

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Will Collaborative Law win over Mediation in the end?

Will Collaborative Law win over Mediation in the end?

  Interview by Alternative Divorce Guide Suzy Miller with Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer Kim Beatson of Anthony Gold Solicitors       What is the best way to go through divorce? “I would say to anyone: ‘Here is my options leaflet, giving you the choices of Mediation, Collaborative Law, lawyer-led mediation or the court system. It’s your choice. Think about those options carefully.’”   Why don’t people know more about it? “Mediation awareness was funded by the...

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Kim Beatson: What many people don’t know about divorce mediation

Kim Beatson: What many people don’t know about divorce mediation

  In this interview with Divorce Mediator Kim Beatson of Anthony Gold Solicitors, Alternative Divorce Guide Suzy Miller asks Kim to share the information about mediation that many of her clients are unaware of when they first contact her for a no-obligation chat.     Why did divorce mediation come about?   “The mediation movement first involved lawyers in the 1980s.  It came out of a desire to offer a range of process options to clients, recognising that some of them were totally unsuited and...

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Mediator Kim Beatson tells us why Divorce Mediation can lead to a happier wedding

Mediator Kim Beatson tells us why Divorce Mediation can lead to a happier wedding

Kim Beatson, Mediator at Anthony Gold Solicitors, explains to Alternative Divorce Guide Suzy Miller, how mediation can make the divorce process less agonising, and weddings less strained.   “I attended a wedding a while ago where the atmosphere was tense rather than joyful, because the bride’s parents had divorced ten years previously, and animosity between them still reigned.   Although the divorce rate has stabilized at around 117,000 couples a year – from a marriage rate of around...

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When going to court seems the best way to see your kids

When going to court seems the best way to see your kids

  Despite railing against adversarial divorce in my role as the UK’s Alternative Divorce Guide, the one time that going to court can seem a necessary evil is over disputes regarding contact with the kids.   I have witnessed a father who – with the help of national charity Families Need Fathers – represented himself in court and achieved a defined contact order, which meant his ex-wife could not whisk their child away at will despite previously agreed contact being arranged...

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Adversarial divorce costs £65,000 more than staying out of court

Adversarial divorce costs £65,000 more than staying out of court

Let’s do the maths – and see what is the financial advantage of staying out of the divorce courts: There are better ways to travel this journey that will cost you less is money and stress Conventional Adversarial Package (We DON’T recommend this one) Alternative, stay-out-of-court Package includes Divorce in a Box (We think this is a much better choice)   Sources: Cost of adversarial divorce * Novitas Divorce Litigation Fund ** Cost of collaborative divorce   “ Loving...

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Be Aware: 12 Key Questions to ask about your Will when divorcing

  When you go through a divorce or separation there is much to think about – but there are 12 important questions to ask yourself right at the beginning of the divorce process, if you are to fully protect your family’s interests:     Your estate could go to your ex partner – you can stop this. Your share of the house could go to your ex partner – this can be protected Your children’s next of kin, after you, is potentially their other parent – is that what you...

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5 reasons families find themselves in an adversarial divorce

5 reasons families find themselves in an adversarial divorce

The Big 5 Divorce Myths There are 5 main reasons that families today can find themselves in an adversarial divorce process. These reasons are caused partly by the divorce industry, and partly by people not wanting to take full responsibility for keeping their divorce non-adversarial.  It’s up to us to change things!   True or false?  “We didn’t want it to get nasty, but we couldn’t stop it becoming adversarial” “I have to fight for a good settlement and what’s fair or...

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Why the Kavanagh's should have used collaborative lawyers

  Mr and Mrs Kavanagh, both lawyers, managed to squander their £3,000,000 fortune in disputes about their three children and the financial aspects of their separation. Whilst married for just 10 years, they then spent 5 years litigating and their combined legal costs were said to be £900,000! In a survey commissioned by Resolution in August 2012, 45% of Respondents thought “most divorces involve a visit to Court” and 40% agreed with the statement that “divorces can never be without conflict”....

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When the Ex is overseas and just not playing ball

Dear Suzy, Thank you for the free gift. I have a question which I am hoping you are able to assist. My soon to be ex husband lives overseas in the same country where most of our assets are. I filed for a divorce in this country and we both have UK solicitors. We have exchanged Form E – he sent me a few questions which I answered fully, but he refuses to satisfactorily answer the questions I sent him.  (In his opinion the questions were irreverent). Also a few months ago he proposed an...

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A new dance

    Kylie had seen her mum dance at Xmas with her dad and they hadn’t looked any more clumsy or embarrassing than anyone else’s parents.  But now her stepdad had run off with a lap dancer from Leighton Buzzard, and Kylie assumed she would never again have to cringe at her mother in public trying to  wave her arms and wiggle her hips at the same time, just slightly off the beat.  But Kylie was wrong.     “Oww.  Oww ow ow”.  Sally said the words out loud.  And giggled. ...

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what is divorce mediation ?

what is divorce mediation ?

Mediation Fact Sheet   Well it’s not the same as ‘meditation’ (sitting quietly and connecting to your inner being) and it’s also nothing to do with ‘getting back together’.  These are common misconceptions so I wanted to get that out of the way first of all. Mediation is not appropriate for people who are in physical or psychological danger by being in the same room as their partner, such as in a serious domestic abuse situation, but just not liking each...

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why should I use divorce mediation?

why should I use divorce mediation?

Mediation Fact Sheet:   With a skilled mediator and a bit of co-operation from the couple involved, mediation has some key benefits over using a traditional family lawyer: It can be quicker. No letters going back and forth (and costing you a packet) – you can talk face to face with the support of the mediator.  Mediation usually lasts for between two and five sessions, each of about an hour and a half. However, the time it takes depends on how complicated the issues are. Children...

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what is collaborative law?

what is collaborative law?

  Collaborative lawyers keep you out of court.  In fact, you can’t go to court if you use a collaborative lawyer.  Should negotiations break down between both parties, and a couple decide to go to court, then they have to get different lawyers to represent them.  The advantage of this is that collaborative lawyers have a huge incentive (as do the couple) to find a sustainable and acceptable agreement on all matters relating to the divorce.   Collaborative law differs from using only...

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why should I use collaborative lawyers?

why should I use collaborative lawyers?

  What can seem tricky to some couples is the idea that they both have a collaborative lawyer – because it only works if both of you are using collaborative lawyers – all sitting around working together to find the best solutions.  But this is what happens in mediation too so it is a very good way to resolve or avoid any potential conflict.   Another advantage is that you can include other professionals in the sessions.  I know of a couple who resolved their divorce disputes by...

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what is DIY divorce?

There are two varieties: DIY out of court – which means you get the necessary paperwork from your local family courthouse, fill it in, submit the forms and if both of you agree on everything then hey presto, it’s all done and dusted.  Of course you will need to wait two years after an official separation if you want to avoid stating grounds for the divorce – such as infidelity, abandonment etc – but even then couples sometimes agree to ‘lay blame’ for...

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why should I do a DIY divorce?

Online divorce or – even cheaper – just going to get the paperwork from the courts and doing it all yourself – is the least expensive way to get a divorce, providing neither party is going to disagree with any aspect of the divorce.  In other words, if you have no complicated assets – like pensions to split which is a very specialized area, or child access issues – then DIY is probably your best option. The key advantages are that you don’t need to hire a...

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Litigant In Person or Self-Repping

In my case I self-repped AND used counsel, bringing in the “gun-for-hire” when points of Law needed to be argued, and then standing on my own when it was appropriate, so I’ve seen both sides of the coin. Likewise I’ve faced counsel, and later, a self-repping ex-partner. I did this for the following reasons. Firstly, process. It’s extremely complicated at times and counsel know the process, which is why I used them when I needed to. Secondly, cost. Court is...

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"A Successful Litigant In Person"

In 1999 I represented myself at a 3-day trial during my first divorce. My ex’s lawyers presented me with a 990-page Bundle just hours before the final Hearing! Pre-Hearing  I was offered just £8,000 (of a £900,000 pot). I was almost bullied and intimidated into accepting it! After three days of cross-examining my ex; and finding the crucial ‘evidence’ I needed to prove both our 16 year history and my contribution, I’d nattered away long enough for the judge to comment that my ex was ‘the...

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In the divorce court – without a lawyer

  Sophie’s recent court case experience…… I can only describe being a Litigant in Person as a fast track to madness ! Not only is the system designed to promote elitism through it’s use of antiquated language and procedural nonsense and thereby exclude the lay person, it also denies the existence of the very real requirements of the litigant in person and therefore, their need for assistance from the Court… unelected civil servants. The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR)...

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Forcing couples to use divorce mediation?

Well not quite – the new rules coming out in April will make it necessary for divorcing couples seeking legal aid to try mediation before court, and all couples who are unable to sort out their divorce on their own, will be expected to attend mediation consultation sessions at least so they understand how it can help them. I encourage all visitors to Starting Over from divorce Road Shows to talk directly to mediators and to find out what they actually do (some people think they are...

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A whole new way of breaking up right

Linda Kelsey’s article on Divorce Day out today in the Telegraph mentions my Starting Over Shows, but doesn’t mention that there is a whole new alternative to the commercialisation of divorce, something that is taking off on a local basis and the like of which has never been seen before in the UK – or abroad. At the Starting Over Road Show at Farnham Castle 10 February 2011, visitors will learn about non-adversarial approaches to divorce.   Local Citizen’s Advice...

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