Surrogacy

Human beings have basic emotional needs some of which are to be accepted, respected, valued, needed and useful.  All these needs can be called into question if a person or couple finds that they are unable to conceive a child for any reason.  Infertility, and the...

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She, He or It

In 1997, Dr Lydia Foy an Irish dentist, at that time unemployed, registered as male on her birth certificate, applied to the courts in Ireland represented by FLAC (Free Legal Aid Centres) for the right to alter her birth certificate to reflect her gender of choice....

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Void or Voidable – Nullity of Marriage

Sometime ago I wrote a short piece for my website on nullity of marriage.  It intrigues me that, out of all proportion to its usefulness in practice, this area tends to fascinate.  Why this should be so, I am not entirely sure.  Perhaps it is the very archaic nature...

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Shared Parenting.

As topics go, this one is highly charged!  The “Dads R Us” brigade are not for the faint hearted but then I am not faint of heart.   I have spent some weeks now looking at this area.  This arose because of a case I became involved in where the Dad was looking for 50%...

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Intimate Strangers – the Stepfamily experience.

When we think of family, we usually think of Mum, Dad and 2.5 children.  That pretty much describes your typical nuclear family and it is the model or standard by which we tend to judge all other types of families.  I always want to add “apple pie” to the Mum and Dad...

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Relocation – is it really a good idea ?

Light relief in family court is somewhat unusual.  Even by family law standards, however, child relocation cases tend to be particularly glum affairs.  While it is fair to say that in most family law cases, no one wins, there is no doubt that this is most poignantly...

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What will we tell the children?

Over the years I have noticed that a significant number of parents resist strongly any attempt to discuss the children with me or indeed with anyone else.  Any discussion is vigorously blocked.  For parents, I suspect that  one of the most upsetting things about...

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All I want for Christmas

More than any other time of the year, Christmas tends to pose the greatest challenge for separated and divorced parents.   The biggest issue is generally – where will the children spend Christmas, followed by – who has them on Christmas eve, followed by – how will we...

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Cost of living ..

An impending sense of doom lies over us here like a pall as we await the budget.  When we went into this recession, we were reasonably confident that we would be out of it by now or thought we would, now we are getting the truly uncomfortable sense that we are in this...

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Magic of Negotiation

When I was a small child aged between 6 and 12, my favourite word was “negotiation”.  I loved that word with a passion.  It was not the meaning that enthralled me, rather the sound.  I thrilled to the way you could break it down and roll it around in your mouth. ...

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As time moves on …

In the early 1990s, which heralded in the modern approach to family law in Ireland, it was commonplace for a wife to be allowed to remain in the family home, particularly while the children were young and for the property then to be sold at some point in the future. ...

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Summer Recess

After a long hard winter weather wise and economically, Summer, especially on sunny days, is a welcome respite.  However, Summer brings its own strains.  For us lawyers there is the frantic rush of June and July to finalise as many cases as possible before the summer...

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Difficult Decision..

When a marriage or relationship is in trouble, I don’t think that having more money will do any more for that couple, than simply paper the cracks.  If lack of money was the main reason for a relationship breakdown , then we would not get wealthier people separating. ...

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Co-Parenting during separation/divorce

I am frequently asked parenting questions or listen to expressions of frustration from my clients on the difficulties that arise for them in co-parenting during and after a separation or divorce.  I am not a child expert but I have picked up a few things here and...

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The place of grandparents in family breakups.

When parents are locked in dispute and/or separating the support of extended family can provide enormous comfort to the children and support for the parents.  Grandparents, in particular, can be a great resource in this situation especially for children who are close...

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Is Collaborative Law just a Legal Process?

The statement that Collaborative Law is just a legal process is generally made to silence those lawyers who seem to many of us to be straying further and further away into “therapy” or as one colleague put it “tree hugging for lawyers”.   To be in the forefront of a...

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Detox.

Detox is the new buzz word.   We are bombarded with invitations from health spas to come and detox and with books and products to assist us to detoxify.  As well as our bodies, however, maybe we should think about detoxifying our minds?  Can the way we use language...

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OLD STORIES WITH NEW TWISTS.

This article was published   in Evening Echo on 20th January 2010 Frequently, people ask why are marriages breaking down in such numbers today?  It is often implicit in the tone of the person asking the question that there is something “wanting” in people living now,...

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Helping Hand

It is very tempting in the throes of hurt and grief to give into the temptation to behave badly.  However, as good parents, which we all aspire to be, we know in our calm rational higher functioning selves that angry scenes,  vengeful actions and so forth will cause...

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Life Changes ..

When confronted with life’s traumas, bereavement, redundancy, loss of a significant relationship, divorce, disability or injury, enforced relocation, to name but a few, we inevitably travel through what is called the bereavement curve.  The Bereavement Curve was...

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