When success leads to misfortune

HCR_LAW_2013_D3-1645_RGB (640x426)Expert family law and divorce advice from leading law firm Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Spare a thought for the Oscar winners this Sunday.  As they grasp their golden statuettes, soaking up the adulation and praise, they will feel on top of the world.  But as many previous winners have already found out, a well-known curse is waiting in the wings…

The supposed ‘Oscar curse’ suggests that winners of the award will be destined for misfortune as soon as they get their hands on that golden statue. And, according to a recent new study, male actors in particular are likely to see their luck run out romantically rather than professionally.

The research, led by University of Michigan, found that the sudden shift in fortunes can have a damaging impact on relationships.

Real or not, the ‘Oscar curse’ resonates in real life.  Away from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, sudden success or promotion for one half of a couple can cause jealousy, misunderstanding and communication problems, leading to the breakdown of a marriage or partnership.

Brenda Spain, Partner at Harrison Clark Rickerbys, said: “It may seem surprising that a sudden shift in fortune, such as a lottery win, can have such a damaging impact on a relationship, but this is a trend we have observed in our experience as family and divorce lawyers.”

In cases where there is an apparent inequality in fortune or success, one party can be at a perceived disadvantage, or feeling unworthy in the face of their partner’s success. Success can also make the successful individual dissatisfied with their current situation.

Where differences cannot be resolved, unfortunately this can lead to the breakdown of the relationship and it is at this time that both parties must consider the best route to separation. Attending a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before making an application to the court ensures that individuals are made aware of the different paths to separation available. There are options such as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes like mediation and collaborative law, which should be considered as an alternative to the court process.

“Co-Mediation, which involves two mediators working together as a team to assist the parties in dispute resolution, facilitates a much more equal scenario,” said Brenda.

“Mediation can be very constructive in reducing both the emotional and financial costs of separation and has a high success rate.  If the parties are able to reach an outcome that they are both happy with, the Mediators prepare a Memorandum of Understanding incorporating the agreed terms, so that the traditional role of the solicitor is then limited into converting the Memorandum to a binding legal agreement for the purposes of any subsequent divorce or separation process,” she continued.

As one of the largest Family Law departments in the country, Harrison Clark Rickerbys offers a comprehensive service that allows families to resolve disputes by negotiation, collaboration or arbitration.  Its Mediation Service offers a unique blend of co-mediation; with two highly experienced Family Law Mediators, one male and one female, Jonathan Brew and Brenda Spain, to provide balance during the process.

Jonathan Brew, Senior Partner Harrison Clark Rickerbys added; “It is important to remember that while the traditional role of the solicitor will always have its place in family disputes, for those embarking on the difficult separation route there are choices about the best course of action to take. Seeking specialist legal advice is essential when making decisions that can affect the future of yourself and your family.”

Ranked as Band 1 for family law in the national Chambers UK Guide and recommended as Top Tier in the leading legal directory the Legal 500, the Family Law team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys is now one of the largest departments of its kind in the South West and West Midlands. The team’s Family Law Services, including co-habitation, pre-nuptial agreements, finance and children, are available from their offices in Birmingham, Cheltenham, Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, the Thames Valley and Worcester, as well as by appointment in London.



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To find out more please contact:

Clare Farquhar            T: 01531 640256 | 07795 071569       clare@whitefootpr.co.uk

Claire Brown              T: 07787 505963                                 claire@whitefootpr.co.uk