Dealing with Emotions Divorce

Dealing with Emotions Divorce


We understand that going through divorce is known to be one of the most stressful experiences that can happen in your life. Not only are you separating from your partner, your living arrangements are going to change and there is also the consideration of finances and arrangements for children.

Our experienced family solicitors at Elaine Parkes understand that facing divorce is a very stressful time and have created some steps in order to reduce the stress.

1) Find a Good Family Solicitor

Finding a good family solicitor as soon as possible will be particularly helpful. They can go through with you at an early stage what your options are which can reduce any uncertainty you have. Our experienced family lawyers approach each case with a supportive, understanding ear, as well as having the breadth of expertise to deliver sound, effective advice on all issues that may come into play, including Property and Business Law.

 2) Reaching a settlement

Whilst ideally you’ll want to reach a settlement quickly, it should also be thorough enough so that every fine detail has been covered. Following your solicitor’s advice is important as they will be able to make a settlement that is more likely to be approved by the court. In the long term this will result in the divorce process ending a lot faster.

3) Consider mediation

As the divorce process goes on, you may find it hard to compromise on some of the more important matters such as finance, property and children. If complications do occur, it will help to get a mediator, they will help you and your partner work towards a solution that works for both of you without the need for the court to make decisions.

4) Make child arrangements a priority

Aim to resolve matters that involve children relatively quickly. If your child/children know where they stand and what is going to happen, it will help reduce their stress. If everyone agrees and has a clear understanding of what the arrangements will be, it will make the situation easier and help to reduce a drawn out court conflict.

5) Focus on long-term fairness

You should reach mutual agreement between both parties with the guidance of a family solicitor as this will be much easier to deal with in the long term. This way makes it more straightforward, allowing both parties to move on peacefully, which will reduce long-term stress.


Do you need help or advice when it comes to divorce?

If you have any questions about divorce or looking for a family solicitor, we’re here to help. Contact Elaine Parkes on 01424 883183

Will Making – When is Pressure “Undue Influence”?

Will Making – When is Pressure “Undue Influence”?


In our specialist Contentious Trusts and Probate team, we are often approached by clients who have concerns that a recently deceased loved one may have been pressurised into making their Will. Is this grounds for challenging the validity of a Will? In short, perhaps – but it is not straightforward.

A legal challenge as to the validity of a Will on the basis of excessive pressure by a third party is known as “undue influence”. One of the most succinct definitions of what constitutes “undue influence” came in Hall v Hall, a case from the 1860s. In this case the type of pressure that would be classed as unlawful was described as of such “character if so exerted as to overpower the volition without convincing the judgment of the testator (the person making the Will)… though no force has been either used or threatened”.

However, some pressure exerted on a testator is not unlawful. In the Will making process it is not uncommon for testators to consult with others (for example, their children) and for these third parties to try to influence the testator into making a Will in their favour. The key is that the contents of the Will must still reflect the testator’s own freely made decisions. For pressure to be unlawful, we are looking for examples of coercion where the testator is acting contrary to their own free will and choice. However, having said that, note that a frail testator giving into pressure for a “quiet life” could constitute undue influence. Circumstances are key and different levels of pressure will overpower different individuals.

Practically speaking, how common are these claims? Whilst we receive a lot of enquiries about undue influence, one of the first points we like to make is that historically successful claims challenging the validity of a Will on the basis of undue influence are very rare. Whilst the legal concepts are relatively straightforward, the real issue is evidence. The person with the best knowledge of the events is unfortunately dead (i.e. the testator).

Whilst we would advise clients to approach undue influence claims with extreme caution, this should not put people off from carrying out investigations if they have suspicions of foul play. There are also linked claims which can be run as an alternative to undue influence and as such, it is always worth seeking a specialist legal opinion if you have concerns regarding a Will.