Very often I consult with clients who are in a relationship which is unhappy at best, and at worst is abusive emotionally and physically.
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"They are not the same person!" and "I don’t know where the person I married has gone!" I have heard statements along these lines through the whole of my career in family law. I have also during my time as a family lawyer come to understand that despite those statements, people do not tend to change during the stress of separation, their behaviour and attitudes can, and often do, become heightened.
It may be boring, but tax is one of the two certainties in life, and is often overlooked in family matters. Indeed, we had a matter in court last week with some tricky tax points, and yet, the lawyer for the other side was unaware of the tax issues, and in fact argued that tax was irrelevant! So if a family lawyer representing a client has no knowledge of when tax is an issue to be considered, who else is under the same misapprehension?
As parents we try to listen to our children’s requests. With the breakdown of a relationship this remains important and is often difficult to achieve, especially when parents are fearful that their children could be negatively influenced by the other parent not spending enough time with them. As a result, the child’s wishes may be ignored.
To compromise is to give up something you want to keep, in order to obtain a solution to the problem you are facing. By definition, in a compromise situation you lose. This is not to be confused with concessions, which are often called compromises, but they are not. A concession is where you trade something to receive something else in return. Concessions in negotiation are outside the scope of this blog. I will write about concessions separately.
When resolving financial matters between a husband and wife who are divorcing, the court has the power to order one party to pay the other periodical payments. Periodical payments are an amount paid every month to help the stay-home partner meet their monthly outgoings.
Whenever we discuss a subject we make three non-conscious decisions: what we want to focus on; what it means to us; and what we should do to create the result we desire.
Negotiation is in reality no more than a discussion of ideas, principles, opinions, beliefs and expected outcomes, used to persuade the other person to agree with us.