Posted on 27.4.18
Nicola McInnis, Head of the Family Law at Gorvins, has written an article for The Daily Express this week stating how being a divorce solicitor has provided her with the tools to make her own marriage last.
With significant research recently revealing that married couples who stay together for more than 20 years reported greater levels of happiness. Nicola has reviled that her decade long marriage has lasted not only based on her parents’ 50-year marriage provided her with such a wonderful template but because she has learnt so much from clients about what sadly causes partnerships to fail.
One key thing Nicola says she has learnt from clients is the importance of communication. Many people who come to see her have spent months, even years, stewing over issues that make them unhappy. It might be something minor, such as the husband’s obsession with football. But as competing pressures, such as looking after children and making ends meet, crank up stress levels, bitter resentment begins to mushroom. It is why use of the clause of unreasonable behaviour, often regarded as a way of securing a quickie divorce, has now changed beyond all recognition.
Where once it was marshalled for use against alcoholic wives and gambling husbands, people now cite far more trivial grounds – from his unwillingness to go on holiday abroad to her desire to go vegetarian – to call time on their marriage.
As Nicola works on these cases it reminds her how important it is not to allow the small stuff to consume the big stuff. And that’s why communication is so important and why it’s vital to grab the time – any time – when you can. It is not easy.
There are so many other factors that have the potential to cause relationship damage. But from Nicola’s position as a family lawyer, she has had the opportunity watch and learn. For example, the matter of money, which can be such an inflammatory issue. One study found that family finances were cited as the main reason for nine in 10 break-ups.
However, what Nicola has witnessed is how matters turn toxic when one party is secretive about money. Credit statements are hidden, bills tucked away. Financial problems spiral and it is only when there is total loss of control that the uninformed partner finds out. Which is why Nicola has learnt how important it is to be transparent about money in a relationship.
Most of all, Nicola has learnt that divorce is awful. Her heart aching for the unhappy people she talks to each and every day. Telling her of the stresses of having to move house, deal with traumatised children and recalibrate their entire lives.