The Divorce Lawyer’s Diary
Expert divorce lawyer, Elspeth Kinder, from JMW takes us through a typical day and the cases that have to be dealt with
Working as a divorce lawyer, I often find that people are intrigued by my work. The assumption usually made is that it must be depressing to advise about divorce and financial settlements all day, and that break-ups involving children must be particularly upsetting to resolve. Having been through a divorce and with two children myself, I can understand why somebody might think this.
A separation can be painful and the legal implications bewildering, especially when the decisions that need to be made have such a lasting impact on the individual and their family. Guiding, protecting and empowering my clients to resolve their problems is what drives me each day.
I’ve lived in the area since I was a teenager and love the sense of community that we enjoy here. However, when you’re going through a separation it can be difficult to escape the feeling that everybody knows your private affairs. I’m speaking with a client this morning who has lived in the area for many years. When they first instructed me, they were worried about the impact that a divorce may have on the children and the business. They have told me they find it reassuring to know that I am an expert in the fair treatment of a business upon divorce but also that I understand the local area. My discretion and the fact that I head a leading team of divorce lawyers in Manchester means that the case is being dealt with, in what they feel, is a very private way.
My next appointment is a conference with my client and our in-house barrister. The client thinks she may have been cheated out of a fair financial settlement by her ex-husband. He failed to comply with his duty to give her full disclosure of his finances at the time they agreed a settlement, omitting to inform her that he was about to sell his business for several million. We advise the client that it may be possible to renegotiate her settlement, even though it had already been approved by the court. It’s a relief to the client to have immediate access to our barrister knowing she will help me fight to secure for the client her fair share of the assets.
My day ends with a hearing to determine what the living arrangements should be for a boy after his parents separated last year. A Family Court Advisor had made recommendations to the court about what is best for the boy having regard to his wishes, feelings and needs. The hearing takes place by video link and my client tells me afterwards that although he found it surreal to be sitting in his lounge whilst hearing professionals expertly debate the best arrangements for his son, he also felt calmer than he might have done if he’d had to go to the court. I’m happy for him when we secure an order that means his son will now enjoy an equal amount of time with each parent.