ITV This Morning: Divorce Clinic

Divorce|February 8th 2013

Earlier today, my latest Divorce Clinic on ITV This Morning fielded live questions from viewers, on family law-related subjects ranging from  child support to reasonable needs and the most suitable time to commence divorce proceedings.

I mentioned Child Maintenance Options and, if you saw the programme and you would like more information about this organisation, you can find it here. I have featured Child Maintenance Options on this blog previously: part of the Department for Work and Pensions, it is a free and impartial information service, which helps parents make choices about child support.

We also touched on the suitability of mediation for one caller’s divorce. In my latest book, I examine the various routes to divorce (mediation, arbitration, collaborative divorce and lawyer-led divorce) in detail, setting out the various pros and cons. I will say that in my experience, mediation is likely to fail if offered too early, before you and your former partner are ready to talk meaningfully to one another. However I believe mediation can work extremely well when all the assets are disclosed, both of you have a reasonable idea of your own financial requirements for the future, and you are willing to talk to one another. Today’s caller was adamant that she and her former partner would not be talking any time soon. Court should be the last resort but in cases like this one, it is often the only option.

The quickfire questions and answers mean that I have to think on my feet, but I enjoy the challenge and I like being able to help the programme’s viewers. It was good to be back in the studio, and I would like to thank Eamonn, Ruth and the This Morning team for making me feel as welcome as they always do.

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  1. DT says:

    RE: caller 2 – Joan from Co. Durham

    Now, I’m no expert (or amateur) on divorce law, but why do these men (and it usually is men) think (and often believe) that they can say things along the lines of, “You’ll end up with nothing”?! Staggering!

    Don’t take legal advice from the spouse you’re divorcing; go and see an expert for goodness sake!

  2. Steve says:

    Hi DT

    we cant forget that men often have to sacrifice their family relationships with children etc and have to work. The woman in a number of instance just sit back to “bond” with children etc. The shame of the matter is that the saying is always reversed and the man does indeed get left with “nothing”, its a shame in todays age that equality is not applied to divorce laws and “true” equality is given to both parties. Its time to simplify the laws and lets apply equality!

  3. DT says:

    I’m all for equality Steve, really I am.

    Of course I know that both sexes are more than capable of behaving badly, it’s just that when I hear men say that (and it’s only men I’ve heard saying it because they’re often holding the purse strings), it makes me grimace! It’s just not true or fair and thankfully, those who take proper legal advice don’t fall for it. It’s bullying, controlling and intimidatory.

    I’ve been shocked at some of the people I’ve heard use that phrase; people who really should know better!

    I think divorce law is indeed largely equitable. Nothing is set in stone and settlements are derived based upon need and what’s in the pot.

    If the woman is going to raise the kids, then obviously she’s going to be awarded a bigger slice of the pie; that’s just common sense.


  4. JamesB says:

    Wow, I actually disagree with every word of the last post.

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