Parenting ……after divorce
IN OUR NEW LEGAL COLUMN, GAYNOR DICKENS OF GRAHAM EVANS AND PARTNERS SHARES HER VIEW ON HOW BEST TO PROTECT CHILDREN’S WELLBEING WHEN PARENTS DIVORCE
It’s estimated that 100,000 children under the age of 16 live through their parents’ divorce in Britain each year. Many of those children will go on to marry but what becomes of the divorced parents on the big day?
A wedding may not be the natural topic of conversation for a couple facing divorce and yet asking people to imagine the day when one of their children weds is a useful way to focus on the importance of long-term priorities.
Marriage breakdown can be fraught but over the 28 years that I have practised family law, experience has taught me that arriving at a place where parents can agree how best to support children is essential.
In truth, the law is a relatively blunt instrument and the courts are not the best place to deal with day to day difficulties when parents separate. So it is helpful to take a different tack.
It is why as a family law practitioner, I am part of Resolution, the organisation committed to resolving disputes in a constructive and non-confrontational way.
It is an approach that encourages all parties to keep financial and children issues separate and focuses on the benefits of behaving in a respectful and measured way.
There are practicalities to consider and there is little doubt that creating a structure post-separation that promotes the well-being of children is the best way forward. Establishing a schedule for contact for example, which is consistently upheld by both parents, is very important.
By adhering to a few simple principles, I have seen that it is possible for parents to navigate their way through a difficult and stressful time and put the interests of their children first.
In this way, as time moves on, it helps children understand that they can be happy and thrive in two households.
And should the time come when wedding invitations are sent out, it is point of pride for children to know that although separated, their parents can come together and both celebrate the day.
You can contact Gaynor Dickens at Graham Evans and Partners by calling 01792 655822 or emailing email@example.com
More information about Resolution can be found at www.resolution.org.uk
Local law firm bucks national trend with trio of local trainees
A local law practice is bucking the national trend by offering training contracts to three graduates working towards becoming solicitors. Graham Evans and Partners, one of Swansea’s largest legal firms, is invest-ing in young talent at a time when high street legal practices have been facing significant challenges and training contacts are hard to secure.
Charlotte Hewins, Tara Campbell and Rebecca Carter all have local roots and chose to return to the city with the aim of practicing law.
“I attended Olchfa School and after graduating in law from Liverpool University,” said Ms Hewins, “I applied to Swansea University to take a Legal Practice Course and then I applied for paralegal work.
“I was pleased to obtain the role of paralegal with Graham Evans and Partners in 2011. It is a great firm,
I’ve learned a huge amount working alongside the Partners and I’m delighted to be offered a training contract and on course to qualify in May 2016.”
Graham Evans and Partners has three offices in Swansea, Port Talbot and Bridgend, and has assisted thousands of clients across South and West Wales over four decades.
The practice offers specialist legal advice across Personal Injury, Conveyancing, Family and Child Care Law, Wills and Probate as well as Criminal Law and as Simon Howell, Senior Partner, explains: “As a local high street firm we strive to give our clients the highest levels of personal attention and continuity of service but we also believe that it is possible to support our community in other ways, by nurturing local talent for example.”
Rebecca Carter, from Mumbles, studied law at the University of Bristol and then returned to Swansea. She said:
“I knew I wanted to pursue a legal career but Legal Practice Courses (LPC) are very costly. It is also difficult to obtain a training contact and so I was very happy to gain a placement with Graham Evans and Partners in the Personal Injury
“I started the LPC part-time at Cardiff University in September 2011 and the firm supported me in part time work so that I could attend Cardiff Law School one day per week.
“Training contract opportunities are very limited but I did not want to move further afield to qualify as a solicitor. I was, therefore, delighted when the firm offered me a training contract this year.”
Tara Campbell studied at Cardiff University and also took her LPC at Swansea. She adds:
“I was determined to commit to the Swansea area by developing my skills within a local law firm; my eventual goal being to become a local solicitor, working in a local practice.
“I first came to Graham Evans and Partners as part of a two week work experience scheme which led to
a full time position within the Family Department as a paralegal. It allowed me to build up my experience in both private and legal aid work over the past two years and I am delighted to be a trainee in such a prestigious firm.”