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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Should we fake it until we make it??

According to Mail Online there was an article written on “Why acting like you are in love can lead to the real thing” that if you want to feel in love, perhaps you should fake it until you make it.
The article suggested that if you behave in the way you want to be perceived by others, you can develop emotions birthed from those actions.  Normally it is the other way around in that; from experiences and emotions, our behavior that follows afterwards is subject to how we have felt, hence the reason we acted in that way. But taking this on the complete flip side, this study suggests our behavior of “acting with certain emotions” can develop those emotions, to then be real.
To test the theory of behavior affecting emotions, The results are published in Prof Wiseman’s new book, Rip It Up,  where Prof Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire, held a speed-dating night, where some of the prospective partners were asked to act as though they were already in love with each other. The 100 volunteers, taking part in the study in Edinburgh, were encouraged to hold hands, gaze into each other’s eyes, and whisper secrets to each other, according to the Daily Telegraph. When questioned at the end on their feelings, 45 per cent of those who had ‘acted in love’ wanted see each other again – more than double the average rate of 20 per cent. Interesting stuff innit?
Leading psychologist Richard Wiseman says that behaving as if you find someone attractive increases your susceptibility to their charms, and increases the likelihood of you falling in love with them. And although he does not advocate arranged marriages he believes a lot can be learned from them. Arranged matches are carefully considered, with thought going into whether potential partners’ families, interests, values and life goals are compatible.
Which if we are honest a sad reality is that in society today, that same careful thought and consideration is not going into a lot of relationships and marriages as it should. People marry for love which by all means is the most shared reason and a fantastic reason at that – however there needs to be more than just love, there needs to be commitment, not just to the person but to the relationship, there should be a connection and mutual understanding of expectations of that relationship and mutual passion to fight for one another when the going gets tough.
Those who marry for love alone in some cases can be blinded by passion and so overlook the crucial details that should never be overlooked. With arranged marriages however, the commitment is normally very strong. They get married knowing they won’t leave, due to family situations or the requirements agreed upon before getting married. Consequently when times are harder, they don’t run away and often bad situations bring the couple closer.
I am in no way encouraging an arranged marriage, however the action that is taken in an arranged marriage because of the different mindset is seemingly apparent to the results, that it can bring people closer by not having the option to quit, so they act accordingly.
Actions are the quickest, easiest and most powerful way to instantly change how you think and feel.’ in this same way when tough times arise in any relationship, rather than hold yourself stagnant in those emotions, the study of taking action is demonstrating an astounding result. The famous saying of positive thinking can determine positive results. If you do positive action, you can bring about positive thoughts and feelings!
If you act with a positive action despite how you may feel, it can not only develop positive emotions but a new outlook to your situation or your relationship.
With soaring divorce rates and record numbers of single-parent households increasing, researchers suggest it is time to rethink our approach to love.
‘The idea of leaving our loved lives to chance with an attitude of “Let’s see how it goes” may be OK at the beginning but when considering a future, a change in thought is screaming ‘necessary’.
We plan our careers, our children’s education and our finances but we’re still uncomfortable with the idea that we should plan our love lives.  But with everything else in which we want success, don’t we normally make a plan? A vision on where we want to be, and a passion to fight for what we want? We have commitment to excellence until we reach it, true? My question is… how much of this is applied to a successful relationship? Why wouldn’t we take the same consideration and care?
Relationships are core to life. Other things can make us happy, sure. But without relationships we would have no one to share our happiness with. If we take more action in our relationships regardless of current emotions I think we will be astounded with the results in the long run.
Act positively. It might just develop those positive emotions you’ve been craving.
Till next time!
Lots of hugs

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Got a Gut Feeling? Your Gut Might Cause ALL Your Feelings!

Do you ever get a gut feeling about something? I was fascinated to learn that our gut and the health of our gut plays a huge role in how we feel.
Almost as much, perhaps even as much, as our minds do.
We spend all our time working our brain and the rest of our body to boost our emotions, but we may be ignoring half the cause of problems. Isn’t it exciting to think that we can literally feel happier and emotionally stronger, even boost our immune system and overall health, just by taking better care of our gut?
If you’re feeling down, anxious, depressed, or just want a big old boost of happiness-inducing serotonin, it turns out your gut most likely has a huge influence over it all, as its proposed in this very entertaining Huffington Post article.

The little friends in your second brain


You've probably heard of our friends the ‘good bacteria’ battling it out against the ‘bad bacteria’ in our digestive tract – our second brain. Well, the state of these micro flora and how well the good bacteria are doing determines a whole host of health-related factors.
For example, good bacteria decides how well the toxic by-products of your digestion are neutralized and whether harmful pathogenic bacteria or other substances are prevented or allowed to grow. And it determines how much hormone production there is and many other factors that affect the health of your immune system.

Did you know you have two nervous systems too?


That’s right. You have two nervous systems – one is the central nervous system we all know and love, which is in your brain and spinal cord. But you also have the ‘enteric’ nervous system, which is in your gastrointestinal tract – your gut.
Through this whole system your brain and gut are connected and the bacteria in your gut sends messages to the brain through the nervous system. These messages affect your mood, and you know the surprising part?
Your gut sends your brain more messages than the other way around. Your gut sends instructions on how to make you feel all day long. And since we can influence those messages, it’s something we should pay attention to, wouldn't you agree?

Happiness, anxiety and depression


You have neurons in your gut, which is another reason we call it the second brain. And these neurons produce neurotransmitters like serotonin – the primary chemical responsible for your feelings of well-being and happiness. We all know that, right?
But here’s another surprise. Serotonin is found in larger quantities in the gut than in the brain. So let’s influence our primary serotonin-producing environment in our gut and make more of it!
You may have experienced stomach pains or irritable bowel syndrome during times of great anxiety. There’s clearly a strong relationship between anxiety and the health of our gut.
There is even a strong line of scientific work proposing that certain probiotics can affect levels of proinflammatory cytokines and tryptophan in the gut, which have been implicated in depression.
OK, I get it! So how do I start improving my gut?!” I hear you ask.
Well, that’s the next stage of my investigation. And don’t worry, I’ll share my findings with you as I go.
Perhaps you already have some ideas.
Share them with us!



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Go on, give yourself permission to climb into a Porg-hole!

When I was little, I had a bull terrier named Porgie. I loved her so much so, that I would greet her on all fours, hide her in my bed so she wouldn't be cold and even come home and climb into her dog basket with her. She was an absolutely mental dog and I loved her craziness and zaniness. Porgie however, was no ordinary dog. She harbored a secret.
Not only did she chase her tail with joy, sit in the pantry and slip in her own drool waiting for a dog biscuit and eat noisily like each meal was her last, she had an inner wisdom which far exceeded her dog years.
I truly believe that Porgie was a guru in a previous lifetime.
Every few months, Porgie would be in a bad mood. Who knows what caused it – perhaps hormones, a phantom pregnancy, or Pluto aligning incorrectly with Venus. When this happened, she would go to the bottom of the garden and go dig a hole. She would then crawl into this ‘Porg-hole’ and growl if anyone came near her. I would attempt to coax her out with food but she didn't come out and she let me know that I was not welcome. 3-4 days later, she would come out of the hole, cover it up and come bounding back as if nothing had happened.
I used to think this was more evidence that my dog was weird and unwell but actually thinking back on it today – it was sheer genius.
In today’s society, we don’t ever allow ourselves to dwell in a bad mood. We are told to ‘snap out of it’, ‘cheer up’ and be happy. The dawn of Emotional Intelligence has created an international outbreak of suppressed human beings who don’t allow themselves to just be grumpy and to just be with their grumpiness, unhappiness or depression until is passes. Instead we must apply an emotional avoidance trigger or tranquilize ourselves with alcohol, drugs or antidepressants until ‘rational intelligence returns’.
GROWL. What Daniel Goleman didn't realize when he wrote his NY Times bestseller ‘Emotional Intelligence’, was that he helped contribute to the mass suppression of emotions which is commonplace in today’s society. Instead of expressing raw emotions, feeling them authentically, crying, screaming and just being grumpy when we feel grumpy, we are expected to be cool, calm, collected robots who smile politely, play political ping pong with the sales guy we hate and certainly don’t flinch in the boardroom when someone missed a deadline and messed up our project.
Your EQ is now more important than your IQ as this man managed to convince and advise nations that suppression is healthy, balanced and somehow good for us.
In describing the importance of acknowledging our emotional states, American psychologist Dr Maurice Elias says, “Emotions are human beings, i.e. warning systems as to what is really going on around them. Emotions are our most reliable indicators of how things are going in our lives. Emotions help keep us on the right track by making sure that we are led by more than the mental/intellectual faculties of thought, perception, reason, and memory.”
In her article titled ‘How to Understand, Express and Release your Emotions’, author Mary Kurus, a renowned psychologist based in New York, writes that emotions control our thinking, behavior and actions. If you ignore, dismiss or repress your feelings, you’re setting yourself up for physical illness.
The understanding is that emotions that are not felt and released can spawn a host of ailments: cancers, arthritis, and many types of chronic illnesses. The explanation is that negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, negativity, frustration and depression cause chemical reactions in our bodies that are very different from the chemicals released when we feel positive emotions such as happiness and contentment and also when we’re feeling loved and accepted.

Signs that you are repressing your emotions

When we have an experience that is painful or difficult we often dismiss the emotions or bury them under busyness, exercise, comfort eating or drinking. The problem is that our suppressed emotions don’t like being hidden. Our negative feelings stay with us; in the muscles, ligaments, stomach and midriff. These emotions remain buried within us until we allow ourselves to feel them and deal with them, thereby releasing them.
Short Term Emotion Avoidance Triggers (STEATs) and other ‘methods’ we use to suppress or avoid our emotions:
  • Ignoring feelings.
  • Pretending something hasn't happened.
  • Overeating.
  • Eating foods loaded with sugar and fat (‘comfort eating’).
  • Excessive drinking of alcohol.
  • Excessive use of recreational drugs.
  • Using prescription drugs such as tranquilizers or antidepressants.
  • Exercising compulsively.
  • Behaving compulsively.
  • Excessive sex with or without a partner.
  • Excessive busyness.
  • Constantly intellectualizing and analyzing situations.
  • Excessive reading or TV viewing.
  • Spending hours watching romantic movies or fantasizing about ‘the one’.
  • Working excessively.
  • Keeping conversations superficial.
  • Burying angry emotions under the mask of peace and love.
You cannot control your emotions BUT truly acknowledging them and feeling them, allows them to move on.
You cannot change or control your emotions. Think of the people who trundle along day after day, seeming to function normally. And then one day they’ll suddenly explode over something seemingly trivial or harmless. This behavior is a result of a pressure-cooker syndrome; apply a little heat in the form of a tense situation and repressed emotions boil over. The more you try to control your emotions the more your emotions resist. Eventually you lose emotional control. It’s a vicious cycle.
It’s not popular in today’s society to express negative emotions in public. Seeming out of control is interpreted as a sign of weakness. We’re often uncomfortable around people who express strong emotions. As a society we’re taught to hide our emotions, to be ashamed of them and to be afraid of them.
We spend a great deal of time talking ‘about’ our feelings and emotions and very little time actually processing and feeling them. We attend workshops, visit therapists, and they describe how we feel.
We talk and talk about our emotions, intellectualizing and analyzing them, but how much time do we actually spend feeling them?
We are emotional creations and we must learn how to know our emotions, be with them, and release them in healthy ways.
Although I disagree with Daniel Goleman and his thoughts on intellectualizing our emotions before we give ourself permission to feel them – taking out our frustrations on others is also not particularly evolved. I know he wrote his book to prevent irrational rants in the workplace but the problem is we have become deader and more resigned than ever. Depression rates have never been so high as they are today and some psychologists believe that depression is simply long term suppression of emotion.
So Porgie had it right after all.
Feeling crabby? Go dig a hole away from others and go BE crabby and do not stop being crabby until you feel pruney with your crabbiness. Growl. Its really fun actually. Surrender to the emotions, feel them and be them until they naturally pass and peel away like layers of an onion. The crabiness is concealing a deep sadness, fear or anger so get to the root cause of your emotion so you can release the tension in your body and prevent long term illness from happening.
So, to hell with your EQ, smiling when you don’t mean it and fake bubbliness - its plastic and weird. Let people know how you feel in life. Give yourself permission to be a glorious crabby depressed mess until you are sick to death of it. Give yourself permission to climb into a Porg hole today – you will feel a hellava lots happier tomorrow and guarantee longer healthier life too.
Thanks be to Guru Porgie…
Till next time

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Attract an opportunity for your Dream Relationship in 21 days!

video
So what is it that you are looking for in your dream relationship? To attract an opportunity for your dream relationship into your life in the next 21 days takes some action!!
When it comes to attracting the partner of your dreams, your unconscious beliefs are more powerful than your everyday thoughts. You cannot re-program your conscious mind. Your subconscious mind however, is like a giant computer hard drive that can be programmed with mental software (ie thought patterns and belief systems) to control your thinking.
For example, if you currently have a mental program installed in your subconscious mind that says: ‘I can’t have a beautifully loving relationship with my dream man’ or ‘I never get what I want and I’m not good enough’, your subconscious mind will make sure that you don’t have any opportunities to attract that amazing man into your life. And even if you consciously want nothing more than to be in an amazing relationship, your subconscious mind can ensure that you sabotage your success.
Until you re-program your mind to support you attracting your dream partner, your limiting belief systems (or programs) in your subconscious mind will make you think thoughts that limit what you can attract into your life.
SO, you start with your DREAM RELATIONSHIP BLUEPRINT!

Answer these questions below:
  • What do you want from a relationship now?
  • What did you learn in your previous relationship?
  • Do you have a certain ‘type’ of partner you attract and where did this come from? Is it healthy for you? What ‘type’ of man do you believe is the type who will be the best for you in your life?
  • How was your life when you met your ex? Where you happy and confident or feeling needy and desperate?
  • How does being alone make you feel?
  • What were your ex’s positive traits that attracted you to him and what good aspects or attributes of that relationship would you like to create in your next relationship?
  • What are your expectations now? What are you looking for in your dream relationship?
  • Think of your dream relationship. Close your eyes and create a little movie scene in your mind of you with your dream partner. How do you know it’s your dream partner? What’s happening in this scene? Write down everything you see, feel, hear, touch and experience. Ensure it’s a vivid scene.
Chat soon!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

So, Does Time Actually Heal All Wounds?

Today I want to talk about this idea that time heals wounds. 
I think we can all agree that divorce causes huge chaos. It’s the end of something that was born of love, cemented at a ceremony and carried the combined hopes and dreams of those who shared your relationship and rooted for you. Those who haven’t been through divorce can’t fully comprehend the pain, humiliation and sense of confusion, loneliness and failure.
During my divorce I saw a therapist for a while. She told me that as I had been married for seven years, it would probably take me at least 18 months to get over the relationship and that I should ’take my time’. She commenced the therapy sessions by taking me back to an incident from my youth. I was four years old and had been abandoned by my parents outside Sunday School. She linked my feelings related to the divorce to the fear I’d felt then.
We explored that incident for some time and after two hours of deconstruction (and a hefty bill later), I left feeling thoroughly disempowered and confused. Not only was I annoyed with my former husband, I was now annoyed with my parents too.
I’m not knocking therapy, but after trying out several therapists in the early days of my divorce, the process of therapy didn't work wonders for me for the following reasons:

1. I had no understanding of what I was going through and going to therapy didn't give me any power in taking charge of my own healing
2. The healing process didn't feel transparent, it felt like the therapist had the secret to healing and the only way I was going to find out the secret was to commit to being deconstructed on a weekly basis for 18 months.
3. I felt that there was no goal or focus to my healing. The focus was instead on me fitting in whatever I needed to say within 1 hour.
4. I was surprised that therapy didn't encourage or talk about the necessity in creating a ‘container’ to ensure I was held together during my divorce.
5. My healing also did not fit into the ‘let’s meet once a week for 1 hour’ structure. I required a phone call here, a text there, an email at 1am or a session with 1 day’s notice. I wanted a friend to walk with me through the process and not interact in a conventional way. Everything in my life was moving so fast that by the time my weekly session arrived, everything had changed and I spent the session catching her up versus actually making any real progress.

I decided that there had to be a better way and created the naked divorce process to eliminate these specific issues.
Over time and working with countless clients, I have found that like me, there are people who wanted to explore alternatives to therapy and an alternative to, as one of my clients put it; ‘washing myself in the same dirty water week in and week out’.
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage that ‘Time heals all wounds’. This concept has become so synonymous with healing, that the thought of healing quickly feels fake and unbelievable. Therapy has consequently based it’s practice and disciplines on the premise that you need a great deal of time to heal.
I prefer Rosemary Kennedy’s thoughts on time…
“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But the wound remains.”
Without running the risk of sounding too philosophical, time is an artificial structure, much like a state, provincial or country line. Have you ever seen a state or provincial line? I used to look for them on the ground when I was a kid and never found one.
What I tell my clients when they say ‘Time heals all wounds’ is that time doesn't heal anything, time simply passes. It is what we do with our lives while time is passing that either helps us, heals us, or mires us in the past.
Whenever anyone encounters major trauma, there is an inevitable period of chaos. One of my clients actually said;
“I feel like a piece of fabric fraying at the edges, one piece of thread at a time. I can only really handle what is right in front of me – one thing at a time, one thing at a time – like tunnel vision”
Many people, mistaking the turbulent transition for the change itself, decide that they prefer the bad old days. They lose faith and go back to the old way of life where they are avoiding the pain or finding a comfort zone in their healing.
When we do that, when we run counter to our gut knowing that change must come, we have to rationalize our cowardice. “Better the devil you know,” we say, “than the devil you don’t know.” And so we cast out the world that might have been and remain stuck in old ways.
Maybe this passivity is itself the devil it fears. It pretends to be our ally, but it is really our tormentor. The timid part of ourselves fails to realize that more solutions would be found if more of us participated — if we didn't “wait and see.” Seeing and doing are joined at the bone.
In my work with men and women in the area of divorce coaching, I've noticed that some seem to have an ability to accept the hurts and disappointments of life and move on. They are goal orientated and know that the future is where they’re headed, not the past.
Others, however, seem to get stuck. They remain in the past and in their pain, as if those events had just happened, playing the “wait and see” game. Time played no factor in the one group moving on and the other group remaining stuck. It had to do with what they did within that time that made the difference.
Likewise, I could have taken six years to get over my divorce, but the steps would have been the same had I taken 21 days, 21 months or 21 years to do so. There are no shortcuts to getting over a failed marriage or life-changing trauma, but there are guidelines you can follow to get through the trauma efficiently and effectively.
When I considered my therapist’s advice to ‘take my time’, I decided it was probably in her best interests that I do so as her livelihood depended on me needing her inputs every week.
Time is an important factor in healing, but consider that telling people you ‘need lots of time’ is often an excuse to delay healing.
The question is not how much time it takes to heal, but rather how you spend that time. I had to reach an understanding that it was only myself putting the brakes on my healing.
So if you put this concept of time aside, imagine how amazing it would feel to have the new life you dream of. The new you. The woman who is over her old relationship, empowered, happy and at peace? This book is an invitation into a world where life and healing is not a struggle. Where living your dreams is a way of life, not an unreachable destination.
To many of you, this might sound like a fantasy. But I promise: No matter what brought you here, no matter how deep or painful your emotions are or what your personal story is, success is possible.

So I have an exercise for you, if you are willing. Write down:

a) Take some time to think back on your life. How have you dealt with loss in the past? (Whether it was the loss of someone special or a beloved pet)
b) What steps did you take that were healthy and healing?
c) What steps did you take, or not take, that hampered your recovery?
d) Keeping all that in mind, how are you spending your time day-to-day in healing from your divorce?

Consider if you are still feeling some anger, hurt, upset that perhaps you are not over your divorce and perhaps taking some steps towards healing could be beneficial for you…

Sending you a big hug!


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Don’t Eat That Cookie! Are You Healing or Avoiding?

When you were young did your mother use to say, ‘Don’t cry. Here have a cookie and you’ll feel better.’
And you ate the cookie, got distracted and yes you did actually feel a bit better. For ten minutes. Then the pain came back, and it was time for another cookie.
Does this sound at all familiar? If that child was you, perhaps you grew up to associate fixing your emotions with food, or other short term distractions. Instead of facing the pain and actually healing properly. The fact is:

If you don’t confront your emotions, you’ll never heal!

The example of the daughter and her cookie comes from John James and Russell Friedman’s great book ‘The Grief Recovery Handbook’, where they talk about confronting your emotions rather than filling your life with things that fill your time, but only provide a short-term relief.
When you eat that cookie the fact is there’s no emotional completion of the pain caused by the event. The event and all the feelings associated with it are simply buried. Ready to keep coming up throughout your life no matter how many cookies you eat.

What are Your Short Term Emotion Avoidance Tactics?


Short Term Emotion Avoidance Tactics (STEATs) are things you do to avoid feeling the pain, numb the pain, or to take the pain away in the short term. They are often escapism-type activities where you keep SO focused and busy that there is no time to think.
They help you feel better in each moment BUT you’re not feeling better for real – it’s a false sense of security – a false feeling of recovery. And if you fill your life up with lots of STEATs your healing will not progress.

STEATs are so common after divorce


The sad thing is that for most people struggling to get over their divorce they’re engaging in a cycle of feeling the pain, applying a STEAT, feeling the pain, applying another STEAT, until over time they feel numb and they think this numbness is them healed from their divorce.
STEATs prolong the emotional roller-coaster of your divorce. So you never fully grieve for long enough or experience the loss critical to healing for real. Your emotional roller coaster will go up and down, up and down. Until you stop. And start to heal for real.

Your recovery exercise – which of these common STEATs do you use?


It’s time to be brutally honest with yourself.
Try to identify two short-term relief activities you’ve been doing to distract yourself and displace your feelings since your divorce or break up. This can be a lot harder than it seems, but it’s going to take your absolute commitment to honesty to truly heal.
Here are some common examples: Excessive socializing. Over-exercising. Fantasy or escapism activities (books, TV, movies). Shopping/retail therapy. Work and becoming a workaholic. Pretending something hasn’t happened. Overeating. Eating foods loaded with sugar and fat (‘comfort eating’). Excessive drinking of alcohol. Excessive use of recreational drugs. Using prescription drugs such as tranquilizers or antidepressants.
The list is endless, and it could be something totally unique for you.
So, what STEATs do You use?
Can you share a few with the world?
I’d love to hear them!


Friday, January 2, 2015

You are 30% more likely to divorce THIS FRIDAY!

How incredibly sad? There is actually a D DAY where family law firms and lawyers see a SPIKE in people inquiring about divorce and that day is the first day back to work after new years.
More than any other day, there is a 30% spike in inquiries on this day. Here are the 10 classic mistakes to avoid as written by lawyer Marilyn Stowe on her awesome blog. Let’s take note of what a top lawyer thinks about divorce before you get yourself into muddy water.

1. Giving up at the first sign of trouble

The grass elsewhere is not always as green as it may seem. Studies show that subsequent marriages are just as likely – more likely, in fact – to founder. If you are both committed to fighting for your marriage, can it be rescued?

2. Refusing help

If your partner insists the relationship has broken down and will not budge, pretending it isn't happening or refusing to accept the decision is not going to help. You will only make the process more painful, stressful and expensive in the long run. I have known people to continue to harbor vain hopes of reconciliation, even to the point of ignoring the pile of solicitors’ letters building up beneath the letterbox. This approach, while understandable from an emotional point of view, can take its toll on your finances and on your health. I often recommend professional counselling to clients: I have observed that when clients have been to counselors, the results are often swift and truly amazing. Don’t sit there worrying.

3. Thinking that when it comes to family law, you know it all

The truth is that unless you are a trained family lawyer, you don’t. You wouldn't pull your own teeth out, would you? Or conduct an appendectomy on yourself? Following the disappearance of much family law legal aid, we are seeing increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, for financial reasons.
However there have always been those who have represented themselves out of choice. Why they think they can provide their own, sound legal counsel, I do not know. The legal issues can be complex. A divorce will affect your life, and your children’s lives, for years to come.
‘Proof is always in writing. Even in amicable cases, don’t rely on something agreed verbally. Your spouse may promise one thing but, unless it is clarified in an official settlement, it won’t hold up in court’

4. Thinking that legal aid is available

In most cases, it isn't. New legislation, which came into force in April 2013, removed certain areas of law from public funding. Family law legal aid has now been limited to very few cases which involve domestic abuse. It is still available for mediation.

5. Panicking about legal fees

Instruct a solicitor in whom you have confidence, who can give you a guide from the first appointment as to what to expect and why, and reach an agreement as to how much you will be charged and how the fees are going to be paid.

6. Throwing money away

Always be pragmatic. Be ready to negotiate and to settle. On the other hand, if the other side isn't playing ball and is intent on racking up costs, let the court take control and move to a hearing as fast as you can.

7. Withholding information

Don’t be tempted to conceal little details or keep things to yourself. Instead, be honest and upfront with your solicitor. Keeping things hidden can be a way of trying to retain control of the situation, but by trying to pull the wool over your lawyer’s eyes you are potentially putting yourself at a disadvantage. In order to do their job properly, your solicitor needs to know the truth.

8. Hiding money. Don’t even think about it

Forensic accountants who specialize in tracking down secret bank accounts and other assets are becoming more and more commonly involved in divorce cases. At our firm, for example, we have an in-house forensic accountancy team. Even if evidence of hidden finances are found after a divorce is finalized, an existing court order can be overturned retrospectively and the guilty party may be landed with a hefty bill.

9. Thinking verbal agreements count

Proof is always in writing. Even in amicable cases, don’t rely on something agreed verbally. Your spouse may promise one thing but, unless it is clarified in an official settlement, it won’t hold up in court. Remember, matters can easily turn nasty. This isn't just about how the wedding presents are divided. It is your future life and can affect how pensions are shared or who gets the children over the Christmas holidays.

10. Settling your finances before you are ready

Timing is essential. Settle too early before all the assets have been fully investigated, and you may settle for too little. Settle too late and circumstances may have altered irrevocably. An economic recession or upturn can have major effects upon a case. And don’t settle because of financial pressure. Your lawyer can advise you through it all.
Wishing you all the best till next time!