At Evolve Family Law our family law specialists are members of Resolution, an organization of family justice professionals in the UK.
This week is Resolution’s Awareness Week.
For expert advice on family law call our team of specialist lawyers or complete our online enquiry form.
Resolution Awareness Week
In recent years, the Resolution dialogue surrounding divorce has shifted from a conventional narrative of separation to a more nuanced exploration of relationships and their legal underpinnings.
Once known as Good Divorce Week, an initiative spearheaded by Resolution, the annual event traditionally aimed to promote amicable separations. However, this year the Resolution Awareness Week marks a significant pivot, redirecting attention toward cohabitation and its intersection with UK family law.
A focus on all relationships
Resolution has long been at the forefront of advocating for constructive approaches to divorce. However, recognizing the evolving landscape of relationships in the UK, the focus has expanded beyond divorce to encompass the dynamics of cohabitation.
The renaming of the awareness raising event from Good Divorce Week to a more encompassing theme signifies a broader perspective that goes beyond divorce itself. This shift acknowledges that relationships come in various forms and that understanding the legal implications of cohabitation or the nuances of LGBTQI+ relationships is just as crucial as navigating the complexities of divorce.
Cohabitation, while increasingly prevalent, lacks the legal structure and statutory protections that marriage or civil partnership offers. This change in focus by Resolution during what was once Good Divorce Week represents a pivotal moment in acknowledging the need for clarity and legal recognition for individuals in cohabiting and non-traditional relationships.
The Resolution awareness campaign aims to dispel misconceptions surrounding cohabitation and educate individuals about their legal rights and responsibilities.
Central to this initiative is the spotlight on the absence of automatic legal protection for cohabiting couples in the event of separation. Resolution wants to highlight the importance of seeking legal advice and making sure cohabiting couples enter into cohabitation agreements.
The call for cohabitation reform
Resolution's initiative aligns with ongoing discussions within legal circles advocating for reforms that bridge the gap between marriage and cohabitation in terms of legal rights. The goal is to ensure that individuals in cohabiting relationships have access to legal protections and equitable resolutions, akin to those in marital unions. That is becoming increasingly important with the rise in cohabitation. In 2021 there were reportedly 3.6 million cohabiting couples.
By extending its focus beyond divorce, Resolution's initiative reflects a holistic approach to relationships and family law. It serves as a platform to address the evolving nature of partnerships and strives to create a more informed, fair, and supportive legal landscape for all individuals, irrespective of their relationship status.
Evolving family law
In essence, the evolution of Good Divorce Week into a broader exploration of cohabitation within UK family law signifies a progressive step toward acknowledging the diverse forms of relationships. Through education, advocacy, and potential legal reforms, this initiative aims to ensure that individuals in cohabiting relationships are empowered and protected within the legal framework, fostering a culture of understanding and fairness in modern relationships.
How Evolve Family Law can help you
At Evolve Family Law our specialist family lawyers can assist you with all your family law needs if you are in a cohabiting relationship, including:
Declarations of trust
Children law and parental responsibility advice
Cohabiting relationships and claims on separation
Financial and property claims
Children financial claims for child support, school fees or assistance with housing dependent children
Wills for cohabiting couples
Lasting Powers of Attorney
Estate claims and inheritance disputes advice if you are a cohabitee who was not included in your partner’s Will or need to make a claim because you are not classed as a relative of your loved one under intestacy rules
It is best to talk to one of our solicitors about your cohabitation rights before you find yourself really needing an expert lawyer. For example, understanding property ownership and your rights under a cohabitation agreement could avoid expensive court proceedings if you split up from your cohabitee. For example, understanding that if your partner does not make a Will, you will not inherit anything under intestacy rules may encourage both you and your cohabitee to sign Wills and do some estate planning to protect your family.
We can help you resolve property-related or children focussed cohabitation disputes through:
The Evolve Family Law One Lawyer service
For expert advice on family law complete our online enquiry form.
How you cope with a divorce is one of those questions that no-one, whether they’re a specialist divorce solicitor or a friend or relative who has been through their own divorce or relationship breakdown, can fully answer. That’s because only you know how you can best cope with your divorce. In this blog we look at some of the things that have helped others to cope with divorce and may be helpful.
Coping With Divorce
We all cope with life’s challenges in different ways, whether it is redundancy, bereavement or facing a major illness. Divorce is in many ways similar as you and your family are experiencing loss. That’s the case whether or not you are the one who wants to initiate the divorce proceedings and file for divorce or if you feel completely taken aback and ambushed by your husband or wife's decision to separate.
Coping with divorce isn’t easy especially when people say that you haven’t been married long and therefore assume that you shouldn’t be upset by your divorce or when friends make comments such as ‘’there are other fish in the sea’’. Most people want to deflect attention from themselves when asked ‘’how are you?’’ but one way of coping with a divorce is to give an honest answer. There are lots of other things that you can do to cope with divorce, such as:
Take some legal advice - often people are not just worried about their divorce but the risk that the children will move to live with their husband or wife and they won't see the children on a daily basis or how they will manage financially after the divorce. Often the big question is ‘’will I get to stay in the family home’’. The sooner you get some answers to those questions the better you will feel as then you will have an idea of what the future holds for you rather than worrying without knowing your divorce rights
Tell your divorce solicitor how you feel - divorce solicitors aren’t counsellors but they can put you in touch with individual or family therapists who will be able to help you. Also, if you feel strongly about something, whether it is keeping your business or your pension or being able to see your children on your birthday, then tell your solicitor as once they know what is important to you then they can act on that
Don’t listen to too many people- when you are getting divorced it can feel as if everyone is an expert, from your mother and best friend who both think that you shouldn’t get divorced to your work colleague and circle of friends and aunt who not only are encouraging you to get divorced and to take your husband or wife ‘’to the cleaners’’ but are also telling you that you will get to keep the family home, the family business and your pension. That’s normally because they say they did or they know a friend of a friend who did. Everyone’s financial and personal circumstances are different and it is easy to get overwhelmed by too much well-meaning advice
Don’t rush or delay - telling you to not rush but don’t delay may sound a bit perverse but from a divorce solicitor’s perspective you should not rush into divorce proceedings until you have had chance to think things through. Equally though, it can be harmful to you to delay making decisions because you will remain in limbo. That’s why it is important to strike the right balance and not feel rushed or pressurised into making decisions but on the other hand not allow things to drift so you remain in a situation that isn’t good for you
Tell your divorce solicitor if you have questions or don’t understand - whether you don’t understand the divorce process, the meaning and terms of a child arrangements order or the implications of a financial court order and pension sharing order on your future pension contributions then tell your divorce solicitor. Many people are embarrassed to ask questions and that just leads to more anxiety. A divorce solicitor wants to help you cope with your divorce and therefore wants to answer your questions. Everyone has different questions so don’t be afraid to ask yours
Think about yourself - when you are getting divorced all your attention may be focused on how your children are coping with the news of the separation or how your husband or wife has reacted to the news that you believe that the marriage has broken down or how your mother will come to terms with your divorce. Whilst thinking of others is important it is also necessary to think about yourself so you don’t reach a financial settlement based on the fact that the children want you to stay in the family home when they are already at university and you hate the house or agree a financial court order that gives your husband or wife a large financial settlement because you feel guilty about the separation and haven’t thought through the long term consequences for you, for example, in terms of your ability to buy a decent house or to fund your retirement.
Coping with divorce can be made easier with the right help and support and that can be provided through a combination of friends and family as well as professionals such as therapists, your doctor or divorce solicitor. The best help to cope with your divorce can't be packaged as we are all different but one of the most important ways to cope with your divorce is to take time out, away from the pressures of home and work life and children, to think about what help you need, whether it is practical, emotional or legal.
Our Manchester and Cheshire Divorce Solicitors
The friendly team of specialist divorce solicitors at Evolve Family Law can help you with your separation and divorce proceedings, as well as child custody and contact and your financial settlement. For advice on your family and private client law needs call us or complete our online enquiry form.
The Evolve Family Law offices are located in Whitefield, North Manchester and Holmes Chapel, Cheshire but we also offer remote meetings by appointment by video call or telephone.
There has been a lot of coverage in the newspapers on the topic of mental health and how Covid-19 and the lockdown has affected us all; whether that’s physically, mentally or financially. What is clear is that divorce solicitors have seen a rise in enquiries about divorce proceedings following the end of the Covid-19 lockdown citing mental health issues as the reason for the decision to separate. In this blog, we look at the complex topic of divorce and mental health.
For expert family law advice call our team or complete our online enquiry form.
Covid-19, Mental Health and Divorce
None of us ever envisaged having to go into lockdown to fight an invisible but pernicious enemy or realised how hard it could be on our own physical or mental health or that of our friends and family. Most of now have a greater appreciation of the phrase ‘’stir crazy’’ than we did before March 2020.
Now that we are out of lockdown and restrictions are being eased many of us are taking the opportunity to re-evaluate our lives and look afresh at what is really important to us and to our family. For some, problems in relationships that existed prior to the global pandemic, have become more apparent during the confinement of lockdown and hence the rise in divorce enquiries seen by Whitefield divorce solicitors.
Many husbands and wives are citing mental health issues (either on their part or their husband, wife or civil partner) when explaining the decision to separate. Divorce solicitors would be the first to say that they aren’t doctors and that divorce should not be seen as either the first or the easy option. That is why Whitefield divorce solicitors recommend looking at whether mental health issues can be addressed before you take the decision to separate. For example, if a spouse is able to recognise that their mental health is affecting the marriage or their spouse’s health and take the decision to get treatment, comply with a medication regime or engage in either couple or individual counselling.
In some cases, the lockdown has just confirmed what people already knew; that their relationship was in trouble and that counselling would not help save the marriage. Counselling, on either an individual or joint basis, can still play a very helpful role in some families by assisting you to come to terms with the separation and move on with your lives.
Manchester divorce solicitors are asked many questions about mental health and divorce and here are some answers to the frequently asked questions. We have used husband and wife in the questions but these are interchangeable as mental health affects everyone.
Can I get divorced if my husband is mentally unwell?
You can get divorced if your husband or wife is mentally unwell. Many people who experience mental health problems are able to engage in court proceedings, hold down a job, parent their children and manage their personal and financial affairs on a day-to-day basis.
However, if the mental health problems are such that your husband or wife is seriously ill (either temporarily or on a permanent basis) and does not have the capacity to take part in divorce proceedings then a person (called a litigation friend) can be appointed to act in their best interests. This makes the divorce proceedings a bit more complicated but you can still start and finalise divorce proceedings even if your husband or wife’s mental health is such that they are not well enough to take part in the court case. The decision on whether a spouse is able to take part in divorce court proceedings is made by the medical profession and court after an assessment of capacity.
Can I stop contact because of the dad’s mental health?
If either parent has mental health problems this isn’t a bar to contact or child custody. If one parent is worried about the behaviour of the other parent and thinks that the behaviour stems from their mental health issues, the best solution is to try to get medical and professional help. If that doesn’t work, or your husband or wife refuses to accept that they have a problem or won’t acknowledge the impact of their behaviour on the children, then you can apply to the court for a child arrangements order.
A child arrangements order sets out which parent a child should live with and how much contact should take place with the other parent. When deciding on whether to make a child arrangements order and the exact child custody and contact arrangements a family judge will decide what he or she believes is in the best interests of the child after assessing a range of factors, referred to as the ‘’welfare checklist’’.
One of the factors in the welfare checklist is ‘’how capable each parent is of meeting the child’s needs’’. A child’s needs don’t just mean food on the table and being sent to school but how a parent can meet a child’s emotional needs. A parent doesn’t need to be ‘’perfect’’ to parent a child or to have contact with them but they do need to be able to protect them, both physically and emotionally.
Decisions on custody and contact are also influenced by the age of a child and their wishes. For example, a teenage child may be used to caring for a parent who is unwell and if contact were to stop the child would be anxious and more distressed than not seeing their mother or father, even if the parent is unwell. It should also be remembered that health can change and the needs of a child can alter as they grow up.
How do I reach a financial settlement when my wife won’t cooperate because of her mental health?
It is always best to try and reach an agreement on a financial settlement if you can do so. That is because it saves time and money. There are many reasons why a husband and wife can’t reach an amicable financial settlement, including the mental health concerns of either a husband or wife. Reaching a financial settlement is still possible by starting financial proceedings and asking the court to make a financial court order.
If a spouse doesn’t have the mental capacity to take part in the financial proceedings their interests will be protected by the court appointing someone to act in their best interests. For example, if a spouse is seriously unwell, they may say that they want nothing from the marriage even though they are entitled to at least fifty percent of the family assets and will need the money to rehouse and support themselves. The person appointed to act for them must do what is in their best interests, rather than agreeing to the other partner keeping everything.
Will my husband’s mental health affect the financial settlement?
A husband or wife’s mental health may affect the financial settlement depending on the severity of their mental health condition, the treatment options and prognosis, and a range of other factors. A specialist divorce solicitor can advise on the likely impact, if any, of a mental health condition on a financial settlement. For example, mental health may have an impact on employment prospects and spousal maintenance or employment and retirement plans and pension options or housing needs and mortgage capacity. Every family situation is different so it is best to get expert legal advice.
Divorce and mental health
Many people struggle with their mental health at some point in their lives. Their problems are often temporary but that isn’t always the case or a separation or divorce can exacerbate mental health problems. If you are in that position, or your husband or wife or civil partner is, then the best thing that you can do is ensure that the family has the practical, counselling, medical and legal support the family needs to get you all through a tough emotional time.
Our Manchester Divorce Solicitors
At Evolve Family Law, based in Whitefield, North Manchester and Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, our expert divorce solicitors provide friendly, approachable advice on all aspects of family law. If you need legal help with a separation or divorce or child contact and custody or assistance with a financial settlement then call us for an appointment with our specialist Whitefield divorce solicitors or complete our online enquiry form.
Emotional abuse is one of those tricky topics. Many people don’t like to admit that they are being emotionally abused because it makes them seem weak or thin skinned. However, the Covid-19 pandemic and the confinement of lockdown at home has made many people realise that it is time to confront emotional abuse in their relationship. In this blog we look at emotional abuse and your options on what to do about emotional abuse in your marriage.
What is emotional abuse?
As we gradually start to emerge from lockdown people are asking questions about their relationships, often because they have spent far more time with their partner in a relatively confined space than at any other time. Sometimes that experience has brought out the best in a relationship and at other times people have experienced far more physical or emotional abuse than they would normally have if their partner had been working or able to see friends and family. Sometimes, the stresses of working on the ‘’front line’’ in a key worker role has meant that a partner has brought their fears home with them and their behaviour has had a very negative impact on their partner and children.
Family law solicitors say that unless it is an emergency situation you should take time to think before you make any major decisions about your relationship. It is important to reflect on your partner’s behaviour and consider if it is emotional abuse. Whilst it is best not to make a rapid decision to separate it is equally sensible to look at whether what you are experiencing is emotional abuse and to ask yourself if there is any prospect of your partner or spouse recognising their behaviour as abusive and doing something to change their behaviour.
Sadly, for many husbands, wives, and partners, emotional abuse can become part of their daily life so they become inured to it. Often, it when their partner’s behaviour has turned on the children during lockdown, with the children being at home and underfoot all day, that the behaviour is seen for what it is; emotional abuse.
What is emotional abuse? It is difficult to define emotional abuse because unlike physical violence there is no obvious slap mark, bruise or fracture. The effects of emotional abuse are often not obvious but they are equally damaging as physical abuse.
Emotional abuse is all about control through the manipulation of your emotions. It isn’t a one off experience but is normally a slow and invidious process until it gets to the stage that you haven’t got the strength to leave the relationship. Sometimes it takes something as dramatic as the Covid-19 lockdown or seeing your partner start to emotionally abuse your child that is the ‘’wake-up call’’ to get help.
Emotional abuse isn’t about having rows, shouting at one another, or saying words you regret. We all do that in relationships, especially if we are under pressure because we are confined at home or are worried about work and financial matters. Emotional abuse is best described by example as it can be subtle. Examples of emotional abuse and controlling behaviour include:
Constantly belittling you from telling you that you are a fool, ‘’incapable of doing that’ ’and judging your efforts
Giving directions on what you should wear, how much you should eat, when you should speak, who you should see and if you can go out
If you challenge the behaviour, telling you that you are insane and that no one will believe you if you speak out
Refusing to speak to you or leaving the family home for days if you ask them to change their behaviour
Taking over control of almost every aspect of your life from money management and access to funds to making all the important decisions about the children and to making the decisions for you from who you vote for to your choice of hairstyle
Restricting you so you are not able to speak on the phone to friends and family as phone and internet activity is monitored and not able to meet with family because your movements are tracked or you fear that you will betray yourself and let something slip about having spoken to a friend.
Sometimes those in emotionally abusive relationships also experience physical violence. Many say that the physical violence is easier to cope with than the constant emotional abuse or living with a partner who is silent and won't speak for days because you have committed some minor misdemeanour.
Emotional abusers can temper their abuse with gifts and kind words thus giving you hope that they have changed or that they can't help their behaviour because they love you so much. This type of abuse is so subtle and powerful that people from all walks of life can find themselves caught up in an abusive relationship and not know how to get out.
What help can you get if you are in an emotionally abusive relationship?
Many people think that they can't ask for help because what they are experiencing isn’t ‘’domestic violence’’ or that ‘’no-one will believe me’’ or that ‘’I can't afford to leave’’. None of those statements are true.
An experienced and understanding family law solicitor will talk you through your options. Importantly they won't try to control your decisions or tell you what you must do. However they can guide you and support you, whether you decide to stay with your partner or decide that a separation or divorce is the best option for you and your family.
Many divorce and family law solicitors work with professional counsellors and therapists who can offer:
Joint sessions for you and your partner to see if the problems within your relationship can be addressed or
Individual help to an emotional abuser to get them to accept their behaviour for what it is or
Individual help for you to help you recover your self-esteem and confidence after years in an emotionally abusive relationship.
A family solicitor can help you with:
Advice on a temporary separation including whether you should stay in the family home and financial matters such as spousal maintenance and child support and short term parenting arrangements and contact (child arrangements order)
A long term separation or divorce with help with a separation agreement, divorce proceedings, child custody and contact and a financial settlement
Court orders to protect you such as an occupation order so you can stay in the family home or a non-molestation order.
Our Family Law and Divorce Solicitors
Whether you need legal help with an emotionally abusive relationship, a separation, divorce, maintenance, an injunction, financial settlement or children order the specialist but friendly and supportive team of family lawyers at Evolve Family Law can help you. Call us or complete our online enquiry form. We can set up a video conference, Skype or telephone appointment for you or arrange a face to face meeting at our offices in Holmes Chapel Cheshire or Whitefield Manchester.
By guest blogger Anoushka Macin of Balance Psychologies
We all experience periods of uncertainty and fear in our lives. Whether it is fear of committing to a new relationship, worries about whether you should separate or start divorce proceedings, how you will manage financially after your separation or how you will cope with the children spending time with your ex-partner. Over the last fortnight, many of us have realised that there is also an unseen fear or enemy; covid-19.
I say that covid 19 is an unseen enemy but the reality is that it is everywhere. You can’t turn on the television, log onto face book or read a newspaper without reading all about the latest statistics. That in turn can just heighten your anxieties and fears.
For those of you who are going through a separation or divorce and are already anxious about how you will cope after divorce, covid-19 is an additional stressor. Who would have thought that a few short months ago that we used to think that a relationship breakdown or a house move were two of the most stressful life experiences that we had to cope with. Now, it feels like we are living in a different world. One where fear can easily be as damaging as the coronavirus.
How do we overcome fear?
First off, whilst some people may call me an expert, I am a great believer in listening and finding out what works for you in overcoming your fears. Whilst you may not know it we all have the power to manage our fears whether they are about:
Feeling alone because you have ended a relationship
Worried about your job and finances because of covid-19
Concerned about where you will live and how you will manage financially after your divorce
Frightened about letting your children spend time with your ex-partner in case they fall ill when they are not with you
Feelings of not be able to cope with home schooling your children and not being able to cope with life as a separated parent and coronavirus.
In addition to all these fears, many of us are also worrying about our parents or loved ones, especially if they are elderly or have underlying health conditions and are self-isolating or shielding. On a practical note, this may be making life harder for you if you are used to parents or grandparents helping out with child care or just being available to do all the things you don’t normally have the time to do.
Confronting your fears can be one of the hardest things to do. In my work with clients and with my online community I provide lots of information to people who find themselves having to make relationship decisions and to face up to their fears so that they can successfully move on with their lives.
Fear about covid-19 is no different than coping with the fears of separating from a narcissist or a toxic individual. Here are my five top tips for managing your fears, whether they are coronavirus related worries or fears about your separation or divorce:
Embrace your fears
You are not alone. Everyone has fears. Some of us are very good at acknowledging and recognizing them but others of us are not. Give yourself permission to say that you are frightened. Embracing your fears diminishes them; like when you stand up to a bully.
It is easy to feel totally overwhelmed and isolated during lockdown. You are not alone. There is help. Lots of counsellors (myself included) are offering skype or facetime or phone or online help.
If it is a practical or legal worry that is making you fearful then it is best to get an answer. Family lawyers will be able to offer legal advice during the
lockdown or during your self-isolation through telephone appointments, face time or Skype calls. It may feel as though you are alone but you aren’t.
Distance yourself from the news
Whilst we all need to know what is going on in the world outside of the confines of our own homes, don’t spend too long watching 24 hour news coverage on the television or by avidly reading all there is to know about covid 19.
There is a balance to be struck between what you need to know to keep you and your family healthy and information overload.
If your ex-partner is bombarding you with communications over your separation, divorce or contact with the children then you need to block them out to a manageable level (if you need to stay in touch because of your children) or block them altogether if they are just venting their covid 19 frustrations and fears onto you in texts and messages about your relationship breakdown or divorce as a means of letting off steam.
Find your routine
Whether you are trying to work from home, schooling the children or coping with being confined indoors for long parts of the day then the one of the answers to fear is routine; whether that is a work or schooling schedule, exercise schedule or eating and sleeping schedule.
That is because whilst you may find that life seems out of control because of the coronavirus or your ex-partner’s behavior, you can gain back some control by doing something as simple as following a daily routine.
Remember that even if you are stuck at home you still need to find time to do something nice for yourself, even if it something as simple as hot bath whilst the children re-watch a video or learning how to paint your nails in the absence of being able to go to a nail salon.
You may be feeling pretty miserable if you are feeling isolated because of covid 19 or maybe it is because you are combining self-isolation with a recent separation or your ex-partner just doesn’t understand how worried you are about the children travelling to them for contact. If you can put how you are feeling aside for a few minutes to be kind to someone else I can guarantee that you will feel better.
Being kind doesn’t have to be a big deal. It can be as simple as suggesting a skype bed time story for a separated parent or grandparent or offering to get someone’s food whilst you are doing your own shop or just smiling at someone whilst maintaining your social distance. Sometimes, it really is the little things that help you, your family and neighbours and your community the most.
By guest blogger Anoushka Macin of Balance Psychologies
guest blogger Anoushka Macin of Balance Psychologies
By guest blogger Anoushka Macin of Balance Psychologies
You have decided or it may have been decided for you that you no longer want to stay in a relationship that is tormenting you. Leaving a narcissistic relationship is one of the hardest things to do. In my work with clients and with my online community I provide lots of information to people who find themselves with a narcissist or toxic individual. Here is how to get out safely with your wellbeing intact.
When we fall in love it’s natural to attach and form a romantic bond, but once in love with a narcissist it is not easy to leave let alone detach from them.
Why it’s hard to break up with a narcissist
Pathological narcissists or people with narcissistic traits present as charming, interesting and seductive to be around and will treat you with kindness and warmth. They may even love bomb you. This is where the dysfunctional attachment to the narcissist begins. I am not saying that it is wrong that you are being treated with kindness, charm and respect at the beginning. Of course you want to be with them but you become easily dependent on their attention and validation of you.
Once you are hooked onto this they become secure and then they aren’t motivated to be nice to you. Their charm, warmth and respect fades and is replaced or intermixed with varying degrees of criticism, demands, coldness and emotional abuse. You become accommodating and try to win their love and attention back and meanwhile your self-esteem and independence of mind are compromised. You may even become gas lighted and begin to doubt your own decisions and perceptions due to blame and lies. When you question this you become attacked, intimidated and confused by manipulation.
Over time you learn to accept the abuse or even attempt to avoid conflict and become deferential. Because facing the reality is too painful. To leave is the only option as this behavior becomes a cycle of abuse and unfortunately you are too weak and vulnerable to be able to do anything about it. You cannot save them, only yourself. Below are some tips and strategies that may help you to cope and heal after leaving a narcissistic relationship.
Go no contact - limited no contact
Block them! I mean of all your communication avenues. That means phone, email and social media. You need some time to yourself to ‘breathe’ and get your thoughts in order. You are not going to be able to do that if you have constant abuse through secondary sources. The narcissist will try to contact you! You have to cut off this communication, you need some time to get your mind in order.
Now, this may not be as straight forward if there are children involved, so what I suggest here is limited contact. I feel that at the beginning of this process do go no contact but only when you are ready begin with limited contact and it needs to stay like that. So, what does limited contact look like? It will mean that you have to clarify what it is that you are communicating with the narcissist, be specific and stick to only the facts that you want to get across. Take the emotion out of the content that you are talking about, this will give you the advantage. Please know that the narcissist will use your triggers and emotions against you to trip you up and get what they want. As these interactions are about gaining power over you and controlling the conversation, to do that they need to initiate an emotional reaction out of you and will press your buttons. Be wise to this and prepare yourself accordingly.
Join a support group
It is really important at this time that you have support of people that understand and care for you. Having to explain your decisions to people who do not get it, is not good for you to be around them at the moment. You need to surround yourself with people who give you positive validation. Finding a therapist might be a good idea too.
Become more autonomous
To heal and move forward from an abusive relationship it is helpful to build a life outside of the relationship that includes separate friends, hobbies and other interests. When you leave you will need a fulfilling life to supplement or replace the relationship. You will need to surround yourself with positive things that will help you to heal and remind you that there is a life outside of this person and relationship.
Build your self esteem
This is very important, you will need all the strength that you need. It is important to reconnect with yourself and get to know you all over again. In relationships such as these your identity would have been compromised and diminished, therefore reconnecting to your own needs and values is important to build your inner strength. You will need to learn to become more assertive and build boundaries.
Learn how to nurture yourself
This follows on from the last point of reconnecting with yourself. Learning your needs and putting them first. This is really important if you have children as you will be teaching them to value themselves and to build a robust connection to self. This is a life skill and will insulate you from the abuse.
Please allow yourself time to grieve the relationship and false future promises that were made to you in the relationship. This will help you to process your emotions and recover from the relationship. I would also urge you to find an experienced Manchester divorce solicitor who has the understanding and experience of dealing with narcissistic personalities. Mediation is not a good option where there is a history of abuse.
As long as you’re under the spell of the narcissist, they have control over you. In order to become empowered you will need to educate yourself. Come out denial and see the reality of what this really is. Information is power. Read up on narcissism and abuse, I have a lot of information on my website. Regardless of your decision, it is important for your own mental health and to redeem your autonomy and self-esteem.
By guest blogger Anoushka Macin of Balance Psychologies
guest blogger Anoushka Macin of Balance Psychologies
As leading Cheshire divorce solicitors, we are often asked if there is a simple hack to reduce the stress of a divorce. Many people thought that the government announcement that it intends to introduce ‘’no fault’’ divorce would result in less stressful divorces but most divorce solicitors say most of the stress of a divorce comes from:
Taking the initial decision on whether to separate or not;
Thinking about how you will tell the children about a planned separation or the decision to start divorce proceedings ;
Reaching an agreement about how much time the children will send in each household ;
Breaking the news of your decision to separate to close family or to mutual friends;
Worrying about how you will cope financially after a divorce ; that can either be immediate worries or long term concerns about the effect of getting divorced and the impact on your pension and retirement planning;
Concerns about whether or not you will need to move out of the family home and, if so, how that will affect the children, for example ease of getting to their current schools or seeing friends.
A good divorce solicitor will tell you that there is no one magic solution to reduce divorce stress, but some simple steps can help:
Take time for yourself
If you are facing a separation or divorce, you may be worried about how your children or family will react to the news. Often your wants and needs are low down on your list of priorities. Whilst that is understandable, it is not healthy. Whilst it is not legal advice, most good divorce solicitors would recommend that you take time for yourself, whether that is taking time for a chat with a friend or a trip to the gym.
Acknowledge how you are feeling
If you are feeling emotional or you think things feel out of control then speaking to a counsellor or to your doctor about how you are feeling can be a good option.
Limit social media
Social media and contact with friends via face book and other social media sites can be a comfort but it can equally be the major cause of divorce stress. That is because content and messaging, especially with a former partner, can quickly become overwhelming and distract you from the things that you do need to sort out.
Talking to the children
Parents are often reluctant to tell their children about a planned separation. That is normally because they want to protect their children for as long as possible. Parents also tend to think that they cannot talk to their children until they themselves know the answers to what the agreed parenting arrangements will be or whether the family home will be sold or not. However, children will pick up on the atmosphere or tensions at home and normally adult stress levels are reduced once children have been told about a planned separation.
Take legal advice
A divorce solicitor will be able to reach an agreement over parenting arrangements, custody and access and your financial settlement options. Practical and pragmatic advice taken either before your separation or at an early stage after your separation can help you reduce divorce stress and the likelihood of contested children or financial proceedings.
For legal advice on your divorce or dissolution of civil partnership proceedings please contact us.