Showing news stories posted in 2009
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On a cold damp night in December the Gloucestershire POD meeting was taken over by the anguish sounds of role play divorcing clients, which was expertly staged, played and directed by our four coaches, Peter, Sylvia, Ann and Chrystabel, together with Nigel one of the IFA's, all of whom were the coaches and clients for the evening.
Not a solicitor to be seen in the role play - surprised? I think not!
Not only were the role plays interesting, entertaining and educational to see but also highlighted the different methods adopted by and available to the coaches. Also highlighted the interepretaion of the attitudes of the clients in the role play, the solicitors take on what the clients were saying and trying to say being given another interpretation by the coaches. A strong advertisment for the need of the different disciplines in the collaborative process.
Thanks to Peter Silvien, Sylvia Chudley, Anne Brown, Christabel Butler and Nigel Murphy.
Nigel Murphy, Dennis Parello and Kevin Purnell our Pod neutrals presented a talk on “the role of the financial consultant”.
They provided bullet points of the notes, details of the IFA accreditation and also pension investment attitude to risk questionnaire, all of which was well planned, prepared and presented. They kept within the bullet points and clarified issues as they arose, which made the presentation extremely understandable, clear and very worthwhile.
Throughout the presentation there was a great deal of emphasis on the experience of the IFA’s which was the sooner the client gets to them the better it is for the client.
They highlighted a number of complications, which required expert advice and some examples of points and pitfalls.
Thanks was given to them for the presentation and the work involved in prepare it.
A welcome was given to Sylvia Chudley and Peter Silvian the family consultant/coaches who are members of the Pod.
They provided two documents a risk during divorce/benefits of coaching form which was considered very helpful and also a case study.
It was agreed by the members attending that we would go through the case study.
As it was, general discussion ensued about coaching and the benefits and very helpful discussion was had by all.
It was noted that unfortunately only four Solicitors were present due to various circumstances (that’s a shame as one of the purposes was for the lawyers to understand more the benefits of coaching).
It was suggested that the Pod may like to see a role play of the case study and that was considered to be a useful exercise subject to Pod members agreeing.
We already have a volunteer for the husband Richard in the case study.
It was also suggested by Rosamund that perhaps this warranted a special and additional meeting to fit into this year’s agenda.
Your thoughts please.
Peter and Sylvia were thanked for their efforts and the meeting closed at the usual time.
We were given an insight by Nicholas von Benzon of Cheltenham Family Mediation into how mediation can assist in the collaborative process and how it can assist generally in family matters.
He gave us copies of his bullet point notes of :-
Family Mediation and Collaborative Law:
Family mediators help parents by: and
Helping parents to improve communication by:
See notes below.
Thank you Nicholas.
Family Mediation and Collaborative Law
Some ways mediators may be able to help:
1) Breaking an impasse:
i) An impartial face;
ii) Reframing the battle-lines;
iii) Another perspective or just restating the obvious.
2) Child Consultation:
i) When is it appropriate? When Jack wants to please both mum and dad, or Lucy wants to talk;
ii) Preparing the parents – the “when, where and why” of child consultation;
iii) The child’s choice, not coaching or quizzing;
v) Meeting the child/ren – the easy bit;
vi) The feedback – “Jack wants me to tell you that he hates hearing you argue”.
3) When the family fortune is sorted; talking about the children:
i) A less formal and cheaper venue.
ii) “There’s no dispute, but I just never feel able to talk to him about.....”
4) Parental Communication
i) Working therapeutically to change the way separated parents communicate.
ii) Ending long running battles; using the telephone is a cheaper option!
iii) Helping to improve outcomes for children – the damage done by parental conflict.
5) Working with couples who want to explore reconciliation
i) The “ He wants it, but I can’t see it happening” dilemma, and
ii) The “What would need to change?” question which might lead to,
iii) The “Well then, what do we need to do about it?” challenge.
6) Assessing the impact of domestic violence in children’s cases
i) Going where angels fear to tread;
ii) Lock down or communicate – court orders or conversations?
iii) She’s too scarred to negotiate – “puppet on a string” – all about control?
iv) Can there be change? Teenage violence against mothers, and the scandalous lack of programmes for perpetrators.
Nicholas von Benzon, Cheltenham Family Mediation.
The Gloucestershire POD celebrated its first anniversary with a birthday party gathering, POD logo birthday cake, baloons and all. We were joined by some 60 guests all of whom had shown an interest in or who were actively involved in the Collaborative process. These ranged from solicitors, coaches, IFA's, psychotherapists, councillors, mediators, accountants and a District Judge, to name but a selection of the disciplines present. They were all welcomed by Mike Brady who recalled the beginning of the POD with seven solicitors and after a year had grown to thirteen solictors, a mediator. three Collaborative coaches and two IFA's so from seven to ninteen in a year.
The solicitors practices now cover, Cheltenham, Cirencester, Gloucester, Stroud and Tewkesbury, a good spread for Gloucestershire. It was expressed that the growth of the POD membership clearly shows the committment of the Gloucestershire solicitors and other disciplines to the Collaborative method of dispute resolution and the aim of helping distressed families. It was also felt that as there are more local solicitors expressing a wish to train and other coaches and IFA's wanting to be involved that our numbers will continue to grow.
The POD solicitors had the experience of some thirtyfive cases between them concluded and current and had in the first year concluded or still working on fifteen cases, a great start for the POD.
A special thanks was given to Rickerbys who not only hosted the party but also for their continued support and venue for the POD meetings.
Thanks to everyone involved in the arrangements and lets see how the POD develops in the next 12 months.
At this POD meeting we were glad to welcome our new members Catherine Longshaw from Knights solicitors in Cheltenham, also James Grigg from Willans in Cheltenham and Rosamund Gregory from Lass Salt Garvin a London based firm but Rosamund works in the Cheltenham area.
We were also joined by Mark Paddison from Hughes Paddison in Cheltenham and Judi Bonham from AES Winterbothams from Stroud, both of whom had completed the collaborative training and would be members of our POD shortly.
We discussed the outcome of the POD liason officers meeting in London last year and the salient points arising from that.
Also discussed the arrangements for the POD birthday celebration in April
We were sorry to have missed both the planned January celebration get together and the February meetings due to adverse weather conditions. Our next meeting is in March.