Relationships

Relationships

Meet the Steve Jobs of Divorce and His Tips on Relationships During the Lockdown

“The most difficult part of this business is the lack of repeat customers. Unless you are an A-list celebrity, or Premier League footballer, you are unlikely to go through too many divorces in your life.”

Meet Ali Carter, the Managing Director of Divorce Ltd. Ali, like most of the country at the moment, is working from home during the Covid-19 lockdown. “In March we saw an 85% drop in new business. But since then we have had a big bounce, with lots of enquiries from people who are struggling with parenting arrangements during the lockdown, or who have used the time to re-assess their lives and want to separate from their partner.

We actually took on an extra member of staff after the lockdown and have managed to keep all our mediators in business during this time, so that has been the best thing for me to come out from this horrible situation.”

In China, media reports show that separations and divorce applications surged in March when the lockdown was relaxed. Similar trends are expected in the UK and other countries.

“It’s a sad fact that when a relationship is struggling, spending more time together can make matters worse. That is why we traditionally see a boost in enquiries in January, after the Christmas break and again in September, after the summer holidays. The lockdown just magnifies existing issues, whilst concerns about jobs, money and health all add to a cocktail of stresses that put even the most amicable of relationships under pressure.”

But will the forecast economic downturn affect the divorce industry? “Yes and No”, says Ali. “The housing market does have an effect on divorce, as many people generally look to sell or buy properties during a separation. And your pension values could have reduced considerably, affecting the overall agreement. But in general, people can’t perfectly time when their relationship fails – but when it does, we help them sort out their parenting arrangements and their financial agreement as fairly, amicably and cost-effectively as possible.”

It became compulsory to consider family mediation in the UK before a court application just over six years ago, but there is still a lot of confusion to the process and what it actually involves. Many people still think it is a chat to confirm the relationship is over. That would be something discussed in counselling instead. The best way to describe mediation is it replaces going to court with having an adult conversation about how to move on with your lives when separated.

Many people think they can go to a family court, get a decision based on what they feel is fair and have it made legally binding and the other party will be thrown in jail if they do not comply with the order. That is very far from the truth. A financial order takes three separate hearings to reach a final decision, will take about a year to resolve and quotes vary from £20,000 to £50,000 per person if you have a solicitor represent you. Investing a few hours of your time and a few hundred pounds at the start of the divorce process could just save you a lot of time and stress.

So why set up a family mediation and amicable divorce business? Ali was a police officer in the Metropolitan Police. He spent many years working on the Sapphire unit, helping victims of serious sexual assault. This taught him how to talk to people in distress and, more importantly, how to listen. When he had his daughter he moved to a Safer Neighbourhood Team and started getting involved in neighbour disputes. “I could see the benefit of resolving problems sensibly and by talking and working together, as opposed to just using the powers available to me under the law.

When I went through my own, difficult divorce, I thought ‘there must be a better way to sort out everything?’ I heard the Uk Government were pushing for a more amicable approach to resolving issues, so I took a qualification in mediation, retired early from the police and set up my own mediation service. My first office was a cupboard under the stairs, I bought a printer and laptop from a car boot, and for the first few months, travelled to clients’ houses as I could not afford to hire a meeting room.”

Almost 10 years later, Mediate UK, the trading name of Divorce Ltd, has fifteen branches nationally and helps clients throughout England & Wales with online mediation.

“Online mediation was something we set up in 2015 and this is how we hold all our mediation appointments at this time. It works really well and allows people to come out of the lockdown with a clear plan for their future.”

You may think it would be difficult to innovate within the divorce market, but Ali and his team have put together various new services to help people going through a divorce. “We set up fixed-fee legal packages with the mediation attached to them. This lets people budget at an expensive time, without being committed, but also means your agreement is not going to be undone by unscrupulous solicitors. We work with professionals we know and trust and who fully understand the work we put in first.

We also devised a method of mediation that we call ‘progressive mediation’. It streamlines the process, focuses on getting to agreement and is the reason we help nine out of ten clients reach agreement, when the national average is just 70%.

For the 10% who don’t reach agreement, we devised barrister reviews so you can find out what would be a likely outcome were you to go to court. Why spend in excess of £20,000 on court hearings, if an expert has already told you what is likely to happen?”

Does Ali feel bad running a business that serves people going through a divorce or separation? “I’m divorced, my parents are divorced and I have helped in over 3000 divorces. I have seen the best and worst ways to do it and I am convinced that an amicable approach, using mediation if required, is best for the couple divorcing, their children and the wider family.”

Any tips for those stuck in lockdown with a partner they don’t want to be with? Ali suggests, “Just focus on the future, put a plan in place and, where possible, work together to put it into practice. Look at where you want to be in your life in two years’ time, how you want to parent your children, what will make you happy and then just go for it. Things can and will get better. I’ve never had a client come back after a few years and say their life is worse. Done well, you can all be that much happier.”

Media Contact Details
Ali Carter, Divorce Ltd
Lutterworth, Leicestershire
07944999171

Taking Care Of Yourself After A Break-Up

Relationships bring a huge amount of positivity to people’s lives, although there are times when they are not so great. When relationships breakdown they can leave you feeling hurt, upset, and stressed. Often, in addition to the emotional pain that you might find yourself in, you will also have to deal with a considerable amount of stress in other areas of your life. A breakup may mean the need to get divorced. You might have a financial order surrounding your separation. If you have a home together, you will have the added complexities associated with splitting your assets, and if there are children involved you will need to consider who the breakdown of your relationship affects them.

One thing is certain, whatever the cause of your relationship breakdown, and whatever complexities you have to contend with, you need to look after yourself right now. Self-care following a relationship breakdown is vital. Here are several ways that you can take the best care of yourself following a break-up.

Eat, Sleep, and Exercise

It may seem as though life has hit a dead end and is not worth living, but it does go on. Day by day things will get better for you. Small changes in your life will help your situation to improve and you can recover. Until you get there, it is vital you remember to take care of yourself. This means eating regular, healthy meals. You might not feel up to eating or even motivated to make yourself anything. But you will appreciate this in the long-run as a poor diet can lead to greater stress, depression, and wider health issues.

A lack of sleep will always contribute to greater levels of stress. Make sure that you aim to get a full eight-hours worth of sleep each night. If you have trouble drifting off, find some guided meditations online and listen to these to help you switch off and fall asleep. Get into a routine of going to bed at a certain time each night and avoid using your smartphone for the hour or so before you go to bed.

Exercise is crucial. Even just going for regular walks will help your mental health. Exercise allows you to create endorphins which will make you feel better. Going outside gets your blood flowing and gets air into your lungs.

Using CBD To Help You Relax

CBD oil comes from the same plant as cannabis, however, it does not have any psychoactive properties. It is a great way of managing the symptoms of stress and anxiety. When you are feeling stressed, you can take a couple of drops of CBD oil and it will help you to relax. CBD is not addictive and you can take it whenever you like. It is also quite fast-acting and effective.

Surround Yourself With Friends And Family

During times of hardship, it is quite natural to push people away from you so that you can be alone. Socializing with loved ones is very important though, and you should not underestimate the benefits of doing this.

Nurturing Client Relationships And Why It Is Important

It’s far too easy now to get wrapped up in social media and thinking that it’s enough to just contact our customers by email. But if you have a client base that is loyal to you, then it is always nice to touch base and make sure that you are keeping up the relationship with them. You can’t just expect that if somebody has spent money with you before that they will do so again. And this is why many big businesses have client account managers, and these people take care of each of the top clients to ensure that their relationship stays positive. But this can be transferred into small businesses as well. It may be difficult to juggle all of the different ways in which you need to manage your business, but it is important to ensure that you are keeping your client base happy and sales will follow.

Quick communication

Imagine a client has a problem and they tried to get hold of you but can’t. We all know how this feels as a customer and it isn’t something that any of us would wish on our own clients. Making sure that we are always open to communication, and that we are available during work hours can be a game-changer. At the end of the day, we always need to make sure that the people we are working with and four are happy. And ignoring them is clearly not going to achieve this.

Surprises

Sending a client a gift even if it is just a branded stress ball such as the ones from 4allpromos.com Can really help you get some customer loyalty. We don’t be lying if we said that we didn’t like the odd surprise gift here in there, which is why it is nice to be able to send some personalised branded gifts occasionally. Finding something a little bit different to a calendar may go along way as well. But every year many customers receive gifts at Christmas time from their companies. So this is something that can certainly strengthen your client relationships.

Excellent service

Should go without saying the excellent service is always going to help you gain customer loyalty. Making sure that your customers feel worthy and that you are dealing with any problems quickly is going to go a very long way. In fact it in many surveys customers have explained that this is the number one priority for them. And that if a customer doesn’t feel as though they are getting good customer service they may leave to find a business that can provide that for them

So ultimately you need to make sure that your customers are happy, that sounds obvious but sometimes we forget about the relationship side of things and focus on the processes. Keeping our customers happy is going to be key to our success. Essentially your customers are where your profits start and end, so it will be in everyone’s best interest to make sure that they are cared for effectively.

Pets and partners – what happens in a break up?

With Love Your Pet Day taking place on 20 February, research has revealed that almost 49% of pet owners in the UK have as much love for their pet as they do for their human partner, with almost 15% of respondents loving their pet more than their significant other.

Men are more likely to be loyal to their partner, with 57 percent saying they love them more than their pet, compared to only 47 percent of women who love their partner more than their pet.

But with people so attached to their animals, many find themselves facing difficult decisions if their relationship falls apart. The research found a quarter would take legal action if they broke up with their partner because both would want to keep the pet.

Women are more likely to fight to keep their pet, with over a third (34 percent) saying they’d want to keep their pet more than anything else like the house or cars, with only 18 percent of men saying they would want to keep their pet over other belongings.

The risk of losing a beloved pet is causing some pet owners to take steps to make sure they get to keep their pet if they break up or divorce, according to the research commissioned by Maguire Family Law. One in ten has paid for all their pet’s equipment, food, toys, and vet bills and kept the receipts as evidence of their care of the pet, while 12 percent have registered the pet in their name only.

The research found one in 20 has a formal written agreement in place, outlining what will happen to any pets they have together if they separate in the future. Such agreements usually include who gets to keep and look after the pet.

People aged between 16 and 24 are most likely to have a written agreement, with 15 percent stating they have an agreement in place and 56 percent saying they’d consider getting one.

Only two percent of people in relationships aged 45 – 54 have such a contract, with 19 percent saying they’d consider one. The over 55s are the least likely to consider getting one with only two percent already having one and only 13 percent contemplating getting an agreement sorted.

Maguire Family Law has created its own version of a pet-nup, which is available here; but does not constitute legal advice and should only be used in accordance with specialist family law advice.

James Maguire, managing director of Maguire Family Law, said: “There have recently been a number of cases involving celebrities breaking up and falling out with their exes over who gets to keep their pet, and as more of these high profile fall outs make the media we expect to see an increase in enquiries from people looking to protect themselves and their pet in the unfortunate case of a break-up.

Although our research shows a third of pet owners in relationships think animals should be treated the same as children when it comes to breakups, unfortunately, the law doesn’t agree. Under current legislation in England and Wales, pets are treated as an item of personal property – the same as a piece of furniture, for example. Obviously, the emotional attachment to pets can be huge, which is why we see so much upset over who gets to keep them when a couple divorces. If you get an agreement in writing, there may be issues around its enforceability if there’s a dispute, but we find if a couple agrees on matters upfront, they usually stick to this.”

Over a third (36 per cent) of pet owners in a relationship think that in a break up the pet should go to the person who looks after it the most, 13 percent think the pet should decide, and one in ten thinks the person who has the most free time should look after the pet. A quarter thinks their ex should have to pay maintenance towards their pet if they broke up.

But it’s not all heartache. Although a fifth said they wouldn’t let their ex visit the pet after a breakup, 65 percent said they’d allow visits and a quarter would send their ex-regular updates via text, WhatsApp, email or social media.

Maguire added: “There are ways you can ensure breakups and divorces are as amicable as possible. Whilst getting a prenup isn’t always the most romantic way to start a marriage, it can save a lot of stress in the unfortunate event of a divorce – and if you have a beloved pet, consider getting a specific pet-nup drawn up at the same time. This can cover who will be the primary carer of the pet, any shared responsibilities and who will be responsible for paying costs such as vet bills. If you find yourself separating or divorcing, whether or not you’ve got a pet-nup in place, I’d always advise trying and resolve any issues through mediation rather than resorting to legal action, which can be expensive, time-consuming and, not to mention emotionally draining.”

Which pet owners are most likely to love their pet more than their partner?
• Guinea pig owners: 25 percent love their pet more than their partner
• Parrot owners: 25 percent love their pet more than their partner
• Horse owners: 24 percent love their pet more than their partner
• Rabbit owners: 23 percent love their pet more than their partner
• Hamster owners: 20 percent love their pet more than their partner
• Dog owners: 19 percent love their pet more than their partner
• Cat owners: 17 percent love their pet more than their partner
• Fish owners: 16 percent love their pet more than their partner
Contact
Victoria Moffatt
victoria.moffatt@lexrexcommunications.com
07795 077 577

About Maguire Family Law
https://www.family-law.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/divorcexpert

The research surveyed 1254 adults across the UK who are in a relationship and have at least one pet.

Maguire Family Law is a specialist family law firm headquartered in Wilmslow, Cheshire with offices in Knutsford, Manchester, and London. Maguire Family Law boasts one of the largest teams of family law experts in the North, with expertise across the full range of family law matters, including divorce and related financial matters. The firm is also known for having handled a number of international child abduction matters.

James and his team represent a wide range of clients: people who simply want good quality, discreet and efficient legal advice and a solicitor who will represent their best interests at all times. The firm’s clients also include celebrities, ultra-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals.

Maguire Family is recommended by two independent guides to the Legal profession, The Legal 500, and Chambers and Partners. The Legal 500 says: has an ‘all-round strong team – there is no deadwood at all’. James Maguire is ‘extraordinarily clever on financial remedy divorce work, international financial divorce work, child law and international child law’.

Chambers and Partners describes Maguire Family Law as a well-reputed boutique.
James is a frequent media commentator on divorce and related family law matters, discussing international child abduction on BBC Breakfast, and ‘divorce day’ on BBC 5Live and BBC Radio Manchester. He is also a ‘go-to’ commentator across a range of broadsheet and tabloid publications.

Pets and partners – what happens in a break up?

With Love Your Pet Day taking place on 20 February, research has revealed that almost 49% of pet owners in the UK have as much love for their pet as they do for their human partner, with almost 15% of respondents loving their pet more than their significant other.

Men are more likely to be loyal to their partner, with 57 percent saying they love them more than their pet, compared to only 47 percent of women who love their partner more than their pet.

But with people so attached to their animals, many find themselves facing difficult decisions if their relationship falls apart. The research found a quarter would take legal action if they broke up with their partner because both would want to keep the pet.

Women are more likely to fight to keep their pet, with over a third (34 percent) saying they’d want to keep their pet more than anything else like the house or cars, with only 18 percent of men saying they would want to keep their pet over other belongings.

The risk of losing a beloved pet is causing some pet owners to take steps to make sure they get to keep their pet if they break up or divorce, according to the research commissioned by Maguire Family Law. One in ten has paid for all their pet’s equipment, food, toys, and vet bills and kept the receipts as evidence of their care of the pet, while 12 percent have registered the pet in their name only.

The research found one in 20 has a formal written agreement in place, outlining what will happen to any pets they have together if they separate in the future. Such agreements usually include who gets to keep and look after the pet.

People aged between 16 and 24 are most likely to have a written agreement, with 15 percent stating they have an agreement in place and 56 percent saying they’d consider getting one.

Only two percent of people in relationships aged 45 – 54 have such a contract, with 19 percent saying they’d consider one. The over 55s are the least likely to consider getting one with only two percent already having one and only 13 percent contemplating getting an agreement sorted.

Maguire Family Law has created its own version of a pet-nup, which is available here; but does not constitute legal advice and should only be used in accordance with specialist family law advice.

James Maguire, managing director of Maguire Family Law, said: “There have recently been a number of cases involving celebrities breaking up and falling out with their exes over who gets to keep their pet, and as more of these high profile fall outs make the media we expect to see an increase in enquiries from people looking to protect themselves and their pet in the unfortunate case of a break-up.

Although our research shows a third of pet owners in relationships think animals should be treated the same as children when it comes to breakups, unfortunately, the law doesn’t agree. Under current legislation in England and Wales, pets are treated as an item of personal property – the same as a piece of furniture, for example. Obviously, the emotional attachment to pets can be huge, which is why we see so much upset over who gets to keep them when a couple divorces. If you get an agreement in writing, there may be issues around its enforceability if there’s a dispute, but we find if a couple agrees on matters upfront, they usually stick to this.”

Over a third (36 per cent) of pet owners in a relationship think that in a break up the pet should go to the person who looks after it the most, 13 percent think the pet should decide, and one in ten thinks the person who has the most free time should look after the pet. A quarter thinks their ex should have to pay maintenance towards their pet if they broke up.

But it’s not all heartache. Although a fifth said they wouldn’t let their ex visit the pet after a breakup, 65 percent said they’d allow visits and a quarter would send their ex-regular updates via text, WhatsApp, email or social media.

Maguire added: “There are ways you can ensure breakups and divorces are as amicable as possible. Whilst getting a prenup isn’t always the most romantic way to start a marriage, it can save a lot of stress in the unfortunate event of a divorce – and if you have a beloved pet, consider getting a specific pet-nup drawn up at the same time. This can cover who will be the primary carer of the pet, any shared responsibilities and who will be responsible for paying costs such as vet bills. If you find yourself separating or divorcing, whether or not you’ve got a pet-nup in place, I’d always advise trying and resolve any issues through mediation rather than resorting to legal action, which can be expensive, time-consuming and, not to mention emotionally draining.”

Which pet owners are most likely to love their pet more than their partner?
• Guinea pig owners: 25 percent love their pet more than their partner
• Parrot owners: 25 percent love their pet more than their partner
• Horse owners: 24 percent love their pet more than their partner
• Rabbit owners: 23 percent love their pet more than their partner
• Hamster owners: 20 percent love their pet more than their partner
• Dog owners: 19 percent love their pet more than their partner
• Cat owners: 17 percent love their pet more than their partner
• Fish owners: 16 percent love their pet more than their partner
Contact
Victoria Moffatt
victoria.moffatt@lexrexcommunications.com
07795 077 577

About Maguire Family Law
https://www.family-law.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/divorcexpert

The research surveyed 1254 adults across the UK who are in a relationship and have at least one pet.

Maguire Family Law is a specialist family law firm headquartered in Wilmslow, Cheshire with offices in Knutsford, Manchester, and London. Maguire Family Law boasts one of the largest teams of family law experts in the North, with expertise across the full range of family law matters, including divorce and related financial matters. The firm is also known for having handled a number of international child abduction matters.

James and his team represent a wide range of clients: people who simply want good quality, discreet and efficient legal advice and a solicitor who will represent their best interests at all times. The firm’s clients also include celebrities, ultra-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals.

Maguire Family is recommended by two independent guides to the Legal profession, The Legal 500, and Chambers and Partners. The Legal 500 says: has an ‘all-round strong team – there is no deadwood at all’. James Maguire is ‘extraordinarily clever on financial remedy divorce work, international financial divorce work, child law and international child law’.

Chambers and Partners describes Maguire Family Law as a well-reputed boutique.
James is a frequent media commentator on divorce and related family law matters, discussing international child abduction on BBC Breakfast, and ‘divorce day’ on BBC 5Live and BBC Radio Manchester. He is also a ‘go-to’ commentator across a range of broadsheet and tabloid publications.