National Story Telling Week, January 26 to 2 February 1013, is a series of events organised by the Society for Storytelling (http://sfs.org.uk) and supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council. Its aims include increasing public awareness of the art of storytelling and promoting the exploration of storytelling in all its forms and applications.
Stantons Solicitors, Gravesend’s leading specialist family law firm, is supporting the event for 2013 both through its own storytelling and through supplying specialist books to selected local primary schools. Principal, Jan Stanton, outlined their programme, “We are looking to explore the issues relating to parental breakup from the child’s perspective through the medium of storytelling and through story books. The breakup of families through separation and divorce can be a very traumatic time for the children, often leaving them bereft and sometimes even with a sense of guilt. The use of a well-structured story can be of great benefit in helping them to understand not only their innocence relating to the unfolding events but also reassuring them that other children are sharing similar experiences.”
Stantons is inviting small groups of children to their Wrotham Road practice to enjoy a storytelling session with Mrs Stanton followed by a brief question and answer session designed to help the young students share and understand a little more about their experiences. Supporting this initiative, the firm will also be sending copies of story books that deal with the issues outlined to selected schools for inclusion in their libraries.
From the outside, the legal profession may seem like a daunting, humourless existence, dealing almost exclusively in peoples’ misfortune (some self-inflicted and some forced upon them, unwillingly). If we look to some legal commentators, however, we find their considered response to legal scenarios punctuated by insightful, good humoured passages that can burst the profession’s bubble of angst and pomposity. Just such a site is the recently discovered Magistrate’s blog.
Well, let’s just take a step back a minute.
It would appear that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have agreed terms for their divorce, amicably, in 11 days. In doing so they have avoided the humungous court costs and deprived the paparazzi of the salacious details of their relationship, its breakdown and, most importantly, protected daughter Suri, from the indignity and stress of being another celebrity chattel. If the reported terms of their settlement are to be believed, while Cruise has been granted significant contact rights, the issue of his beliefs in Scientology have been deemed as ‘off-limits’ to their daughter in the immediate future.
From a family law perspective this scenario not only represents a refreshing change not just for a celebrity divorce but for divorce as a whole.
The couple have accepted the breakdown in their relationship.
They have taken advice and counselling
The matter of daughter, Suri’s wellbeing has taken precedence over any clamour for finger wagging and accusation.
And they all lived happily afterwards …….hopefully!
For those of you too embarrassed to be seen reading “Fifty Shades of Grey”, this summer’s blockbuster, on the beach, I have a solution.
It is in fact a training exercise which I am recommending to both the College of Law and the Judicial Studies Board (Judges’ Training), if the “players” are treated as married from the start.
Readers are then required to :
a) Draft an unreasonable behaviour Petition for each party;
b) Draft an Answer to each Petition; and
c) Draft a judgement in favour of each party in each role.
This is not as simple as it sounds and also gives the reader an opportunity to discuss with colleagues the literary merits of the book with erudition.
Responses please to Stantons Solicitors, Gravesend!
So Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are splitting up – no surprises there.
The terms of the Pre-Nup are dusted off and reinterpreted – no surprises there.
Katie Holmes avows in the press to seek “sole custody” of their one child.
Suri (now 6) was of course just one of the required acquisitions of a celebrity couple, a child who clutched her Gucci not her blankie when out in public, and who (unless Louboutin is moving forward very fast) has never had the joy of the Clark’s Startrite fitting machine.
This doll-like possession is therefore up for grabs, for winning or losing, just like the houses and the cars, and it is therefore no surprise either that one parent’s first battle move is to claim that possession to the exclusion of the other.
How can we get the message through to separating parents that, not only do their children always belong to both of them, but that both parents belong to their child and that to remove one parent from a child’s life is (except in the most extreme circumstances) stealing from that child half of their past, present and future.
Following the much publicised launch of another High Street initiative aiming at “popularising” legal services, South East Business News (July 2012), has predicted the sound of the death knells for the smaller legal practice. Tina Williams of City law firm Fox Williams is quoted as saying “(Legal) Firms which have relied on their place in the High Street to generate business will find it very tough to compete with a competitively priced and well marketed household name moving into their area…”.
Whilst competition can be seen as a positive benefit to a consumer, unfortunately legal services are not a commodity. Each case is different and, here at Stantons, we are already taking calls from clients dissatisfied with the advice and service received from lower or fixed priced suppliers and having been left to pick up the pieces from their experience.
We of course share the aim to offer legal services at competitive rates but anybody looking to commission family law services as a “package deal” needs to understand the implications of that route. If all goes well and there are no unforeseen obstacles, like who gets custody of the cat or how much financial support should the house husband get for the children, then the “package deal” can work. However, if either partner changes their mind mid-process or more complex issues arise, then the package deal pricing goes out of the window!
Smaller firms, like Stantons, pride themselves on a personal tailored service for each client, not a one size fits all approach. We recommend that, if you need family law advice, you speak to a specialist, after all you wouldn’t ask a grocer to service your car now, would you?
Posted in Divorce solicitors, Family law solicitors, Friendly solicitors, Gravesend, North Kent, Specialist lawyers
Tagged Divorce, Family Law, Gravesend, Solicitors, Stantons, Supermarket Lawyers