"Wrong time to force mediation on couples set for divorce"

February 24, 2011 5 comments

Since writing this column I have discovered that there will be less than 100 mediators qualified to undertake these assessments by April 6th. To place that figure in context, there were 126,496 divorces in 2009. I also mention in the piece that mediation should come later. One possibility is that there shouldn’t be a Financial…

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Divorced From Reality (from Solicitors Journal)

February 22, 2011 0 comments

From my latest Solicitors Journal column “Family Business”, 22/02/2011. Divorced from reality Fresh from an Oxbridge eye-opener, Marilyn Stowe wonders how stuck in the past the future will be. It is one of the perks of our chosen field that no two weeks are the same. For the past 30 years I have represented an…

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On addressing the Oxford Union

February 15, 2011 9 comments

Marilyn Stowe at Oxford Union

It would be fair to say that the past week has been an eventful one – not least because on Thursday, I addressed the Oxford Union. I had been invited to debate before the house, speaking in favour of the motion, “This House believes that marriage is an outdated institution”. Oxford Union debates are always…

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Cyberbullying and the Drama Triangle of Divorce

February 10, 2011 10 comments

Cyberbullying divorce

I have already looked at The Drama Triangle from the perspective of Lord Byron and Lady Caroline Lamb. It’s an age-old problem. Now I’m bringing it up to date, by looking at how the Drama Triangle works within the context of a serious and growing problem:  cyberbullying. The classic situation is that of a spurned…

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“Sweet is revenge, especially to women.”

February 7, 2011 0 comments

lady caroline lamb

Lord Byron, who wrote those famous words, discovered that a woman’s revenge can be lifelong. He became caught up in what is nowadays a recognised psychological and social model: The Drama Triangle. If you read about Lord Byron’s tempestuous affair with Lady Caroline Lamb and her behaviour during and after the affair, which he ended,…

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When divorce costs spiral, where does the responsibility lie?

February 4, 2011 6 comments

divorce costs

My own experience in everyday practice has been that divorce costs are increasing and, in certain cases, have indeed got out of control. In addition, there remains a lack of appetite at times for the court itself to enforce its own direction orders. Time frames ordered are slipping without a costs penalty. There also appear to be a greater number of cases which are contested to a final hearing than previously. These factors, if not just local but reflected across the country, may well indicate that a more “root and branch” reform of our law on divorce is now required.

Cohabitation rights: three cheers for Lord Justice Wall!

February 3, 2011 18 comments

sir nicholas wall

Lord Justice Wall, the President of the Family Division, has said that cohabiting couples who split up should have legal rights to a possible share of property and money. In an interview with Frances Gibb of The Times and published today, Sir Nicholas Wall notes: “Women cohabitees, in particular, are severely disadvantaged by being unable…

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