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November 6, 2012

Senior Partner Marilyn Stowe is interviewed in today’s edition of the Metro newspaper:

My uncle, Malcolm Sorkin, inspired me to be a lawyer.He was a well-known criminal lawyer in Leeds. I worked for him when I was 18 and I was going to work for him once I’d qualified but he and my aunt were killed in a plane crash. They left two little girls behind. That was a turning point for me because I realised life could be very cruel. Experiencing tragedy so young has helped me empathise with people. I have to act for people who not only have a divorce to deal with but may have cancer as well.  It helped me understand people’s responses.

I’ve been married for 30 years and my parents have been married for more than 50 years. Growing up, I thought all marriages were secure. I was a commercial litigation lawyer and went into divorce law after my son was born as I couldn’t keep doing that work, run a law firm and look after a child. Over the 25 years I’ve been a divorce lawyer, there’s been an increase in marital breakdown because women are more self-sufficient and most are no longer financially dependent on their husbands. That means a lot of women won’t stay in unhappy marriages.

The most common mistake in getting a divorce is trying to do it too quickly. The emotional impact shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s awful and will take a long time to get over, whether you are voluntarily leaving the marriage or if it’s because your spouse wants out. Because it’s so emotionally difficult, people think the legal side should go ahead too quickly. A wife might say: ‘I’m happy to accept less because then it will be amicable’ or a husband, who feels guilty about leaving his wife and kids, may agree to pay far more than he needs to.

Click here to read the full interview


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