This year we will be closing our office for the Christmas holiday at 3 PM on Friday, 21 December 2018.
Our office will reopen at 9 AM on Wednesday 02 January 2019.
During the holidays, our email in-boxes will occasionally be checked but nothing will be responded to other than genuine and serious emergencies.
We are happy to receive enquiries from prospective new clients. We have time set aside to see new clients on Wednesday 02 January and onwards.
Our team have worked very hard throughout 2018 and we have taken the view that it is important that everyone gets a good and restful holiday so that we are refreshed and raring to go at the start of 2019.
Disputes and disagreements at Christmas
The courts are closed during the Christmas period apart from for genuine and serious emergencies.
We fully understand from our years in practice that Christmas is not a happy time for everyone. Christmas can be lonely. Christmas can also be a time when arguments occur, particularly concerning child arrangements.
We sincerely hope that everyone has a restful and peaceful holiday. We hope that adults will treat each other respectfully and that they will not do anything which would spoil the holiday for their children.
If there are problems – these are almost invariably best left until the New Year. Mid December onwards is really too late to seek significant changes to child arrangements. In our view the best time to deal with Christmas arrangements is in the spring, before anyone has made any plans for the end of the year.
In October Ian was privileged to listen to the keynote address given by Jo Berry and Patrick Magee of Building Bridges for Peace at the Resolution Dispute Resolution Conference.
Jo Berry is the daughter of Sir Anthony Berry MP, who was amongst those killed in the IRA bombing of the Grand Hotel Brighton in 1984.
Patrick Magee is the IRA member who planted the bomb which killed Jo’s father.
Jo and Patrick met in 2000 and in October 2009 on the 25th anniversary of the Brighton bombing they launched the charity Building Bridges for Peace.
Building Bridges for Peace works to enable divided communities and the general public to explore and better understand the roots of war, terrorism and violence. There is an excellent quote on their website from Terry Waite CBE – humanitarian and former hostage.
To hear (Jo) speak alongside the one who killed her father is a living demonstration of the transforming power of reconciliation when two people who have been on different sides truly listen and can see each other’s humanity, an example this sad world so desperately need.
There is too much anger in the world. As family practitioners as family law practitioners we regularly assist clients whose worlds, and the worlds of their children have been turned upside down by the mistakes or choices of others, and sometimes themselves.
Children are very often caught in the middle of disputes between parents. Anger can be consuming. Parents can allow emotions to get in the way of good decision-making.
Jo Berry and Patrick Magee show us how it is possible to build something positive from horrendous events. Nobody can change the past, but it is always possible to learn from the past and to create a different and better future.
We wish everyone a peaceful Christmas.