Article from the North East Times
“Divorce is a game played by lawyers” Carey Grant

Like most, I was taught it’s not the winning but the taking part that counts. Good advice but most lawyers I know, family ones or otherwise, would say they are fundamentally programmed and trained to pull out the stops to “win”. Kavannagh KC wouldn’t take it lying down now would he! Largely this is to serve the client and their best interests. That’s the real game after all, egos aside.

Take a closer look though and solutions in family law are rarely win/lose and the rules of the game aren’t guilty/not. The rules change and it is trite but true to say there aren’t any really any winners. More often or not we are looking to strategies to avoid outcomes and manage risk rather than win.

So why play?

This matters to you and your family and friends who have or may have family issues to resolve.

One may be inclined to think family law is ‘divorce’ plain and simple. The rules of the game can’t be that hard? You marry, you fall out, and you divorce. Well, no, don’t pass go…

The complex and challenging issues that have arisen in the first quarter of this year at Major Family Law show that family lawyers aren’t dealing with a traditional game nor is their “game” and by that I mean their legal expertise confined to divorce, finance and children. It’s specialist and it requires dynamism and team effort.

The bigger game:

For instance we also know the rules;

– When a spouse is dismissed from a family business following breakdown of the marriage.

– When one party is seriously ill and there is divorce.

– When there is a disabled child who has ongoing dependency.

– When there are tax issues in a settlement.

– When there is inheritance in dispute.

– When there are assets at risk of imminent disposal or which have been disposed of.

– When a child is about to be removed from England or Wales.

To name a handful.

The “On side” rule:

This is perhaps the rule that evades many in the beautiful game and in family law.

With the rise of google and app DIY culture you’d be wise to make the most important move; instruct a lawyer who in fact knows how to avoid the “game playing” but is on side.
A recent intern told us “you get to know your clients as people and want the best outcome for them because of that.” Our clients tell us that too. If it is a game it’s not a charade it’s the big game of life. Who is on your side?

Written by Jo Hall, Assistant Solicitor of The Specialist Family Law Practice, Major Family Law, Ponteland. T:01661 82 45 82. Twitter: @1JoHall