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Man going through divorce drugged and murdered his children

Father of two, Brian Philcox, drugged his two young children last June on Father’s Day, before killing them and himself in the backseat of his car in Wales. The two young children, seven-year-old Amy and three-year-old Owen, wouldn’t have known what was happening as their car filled with exhaust fumes, according to the coroner, and inquest heard this week.

The inquest ruled that the deaths of the two children were unlawful, and that Brian Philcox took his own life.

It was believed that Brian took the decision to kill himself and his children after he became depressed through the divorce from his wife, and the children’s mother, Lyn.

Brian picked the children up on Father’s Day, and they greeted him with home-made Father’s Day cards. The children’s mother, thirty-eight-year-old Lyn McAuliffe, described her ex-husband as:

Cold blooded, pre-meditated killer

I will never forgive him for taking the beautiful lives of Amy and Owen.

When Brian failed to return the children on time, he sent a text message to his wife stating:

There is nothing I can do. It is out of my control. I am sorry.

Lyn McAuliffe believed he was referring to his car, and that he was unable to bring the children back due to car trouble.

John Gittins, the coroner at the inquest, stated:

When he took Amy and Owen from you, I am sure that his intention was that they would be lost to you for ever.

But he failed because their lives are imprinted on your heart. They will endure and be part of your for every single moment of the rest of your life.

Divorce texts and emails are becoming more popular

There are many ways to tell your wife that you want a divorce, but traditionally doing it with a text or an email isn’t the best way to do it. However, in India it’s not only becoming a more common way of telling your wife that you want a divorce, but of actually making the divorce.

It seems that Muslim men are using text messages and emails more and more to tell their wives that they’re getting divorced, as simply notifying your wife that you want a divorce is sufficient to make it legal.

Sahiba Hussain conducted research into Marriage and divorce with Muslim women, and discovered that many men are using SMS and email systems to announce their divorce.

From 15 divorces that we looked at in 2008, eight were pronounced via SMS, e-mail and over the phone.

Five divorce declarations were given face to face but amongst these also, only in one case a witness present when the declaration was made.

The All-India Muslim Women Personal Law Board made a decree that forbid men from announcing their divorces by electronic means, however it doesn’t seem to have worked.

Don’t get divorced and save the earth

We all know that divorce can be expensive if things get very bitter between former partners, but what you might not have realised is that getting divorced can also be harmful to the earth. The message is clear, avoid getting divorced to save the planet.

This startling revelation has come from an Australian senator, who believes that married men are better for the earth than single men as single men are more wasteful. His belief is that getting divorced accelerates climate change, having a negative impact on the state of the planet.

The theory is that couples who separate need to live separate lives, with two properties, more electricity and a greater carbon footprint. According the senator Steve Fielding:

We understand that there is a social problem (with divorce), but now we’re seeing there is also environmental impact as well on the footprint.

This means that the earth is better off, and climate change will be helped, if couples stay together instead of getting divorced.

If you’re looking for reasons to save your marriage, perhaps saving the earth could be one of them?

Mickey Rourke has only just got over his divorce

It can take a long time to recover from a divorce, especially if it was a traumatic divorce and one party still has feelings for their former spouse. Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke is one person who struggled to come to terms with his divorce, when he split from his wife, Carre Otis.

Rourke’s divorce hit him so hard in fact that it took him almost ten years to get over his ex-wife, and has spent most of that time in the wilderness.

Rourke and Otis were married in June, 1996, but their marriage had problems from the start. Rourke was arrested in 1994 for abusing his wife, but the pair tried to work through their problems and stayed together. However they didn’t manage it for long, and their divorce was finalised in 1998.

Rourke says that the problems he has suffered over the last ten years have been due to his divorce, and his inability to move on. However, now Rourke is back to his best (with a nomination for the best actor Oscar for his role in the Wrestler) and looks to get in with his life.

Rourke commented this week:

I still love her. I love her in a different way but I waited for her for eight years (after the divorce) for her to come back. I’ve moved on now. It’s the first time I’ve been able to say that and mean it.

Fourteen year old girl is youngest to ever divorce

A girl, aged just fourteen, has become the youngest girl ever to get divorced in Israel this week when she split from her seventeen year old husband. The Israeli girl, an Orthodox Jew, had her divorce confirmed by a rabbinical court, who confirmed that the couple’s marriage, which was only performed in front of friends, was indeed legally binding.

When the girl’s parents discovered that their fourteen year old daughter had married her boyfriend, and consummated the marriage, they insisted that she divorce. Both partners in the marriage were from very religious families.

It was heard that the young couple got married in front of their friends, and exchanged rings. The daughter did try to fight her parent’s wishes, insisting that she wanted to remain married. Now she has also claimed that she will marry her ‘husband’ again when she is of legal age.

The divorce proceedings were held in a religious court.

As a result of the divorce, the girl’s ID card will show that she was divorced when she is old enough to have one, at sixteen. The girl will also not be able to marry a man from a traditional Jewish priestly caste according to Jewish law due to her having been divorced.

Many couples try counselling as last resort to divorce

There’s no denying it now; the UK is in the grip of recession. People are losing their jobs, companies are tightening their belts and consumer spending at one of the lowest ebbs it has ever been. However, as grim as everything seems on the economic front, the institution of marriage looks to be benefiting from the grim economy.

Many couples are trying anything to avoid the expense of divorce, which would ultimately lead to selling off any matrimonial home for less than it was bought for, and are even trying to make marriages work. In a bid to avoid the cost of divorce, couples are looking to counselling and marriage guidance in record numbers.

It’s a far cry from the recent ideology of getting divorced at the drop of a hat, which seems to have become commonplace on modern times.

Guidance and support charity Relate has seen increased requests for help in as many as 66% of their centres throughout the UK. In an ironic twist however, couples who are seeking counselling to save their marriage, and avoid the expense of divorce, are also finding it difficult to pay for their counselling in the first place.

Rich bankers look for reduced divorce settlements

It seems that the economy is forcing some ex-husbands to head back to court to get their financial settlements reduced, as they claim they can’t afford to pay the money originally awarded by the divorce courts. Most of the men looking to get the settlements reduced are city bankers who have had their bonuses cut due to their bank’s poor performance.

Divorce lawyers in London are currently taking on city banker clients in a bid to get their settlements reviewed in court. One divorce lawyer, Sandra Davis, stated in an interview with The Independent:

We have had a number of male clients who have been forced to renegotiate settlements where maintenance awards were substantial. These were based on projected bonuses and salary levels which have not been sustained in the economic downturn.

Sandra Davis has acted for many high profile and celebrity clients in the divorce courts.

Another London divorce lawyer, Mark Harper, explained the problem about how city bankers have had their bonuses cut, meaning they don’t have the money available to pay settlements that were awarded in more profitable times:

There is plenty of litigation in this area. Divorced bankers on, say a £150,000 salary, who had relied on million-pound bonuses, are certainly trying to have their spousal maintenance reduced. This is more likely to be where a deal has not yet been formalised by a court order.

Tax credits have rewarded mothers for divorcing

New research has shown that the government’s ‘Working Families Tax Credits’ have made getting divorced a profitable action for mothers. The research conducted by Professor Marco Francesconi shows that the divorce rate has risen by over 100% in many different categories in the UK between the years 1999 and 2003.

Prof Francesconi believes that the rise in divorce rates was boosted by the child care money that the government paid to single mothers. He claims that the money, which was intended to help single mothers, has instead generated single parent households as mothers have seized the opportunity to earn a living simple by divorcing their husbands.

It could be around £30, £40 per week extra which the claimant will receive, so at the margin, when you are talking about poor households, you’re talking about significant amounts of money.

In this case, I get an even bigger benefit from the state, because I can receive the tax credit and the childcare component of it and I don’t have to care for a husband who’s not contributing to the welfare of the family.

Labour introduced the Working Families Tax Credit scheme in 1999 when it proudly announced that as many as 1.5 million families would benefit from the extra money. However it does appear that the money has acted as a poison chalice to many marriages.

Divorce lawyers in Liverpool back financial backing for collaborative law

Calls for couples who use ‘collaborative’ divorce lawyers to benefit from legal aid are being supported by divorce solicitors in Liverpool. Research has shown that as many as 85% of divorce cases that handled with collaborative law are resolved much faster, and more importantly, cheaper, than any other form of divorce.

However, couples who use collaborative law have so far not been able to claim legal aid as the Legal Services Commission has refused to allow it to qualify.

The president of Resolution, a body that represents divorce lawyers and family lawyers, Godfrey Freeman, stated:

We’re very keen on it as a process. Resolution felt that it was another alternative to going to court.

Collaborative divorce cases feature negotiations held openly and frankly around a table, after both parties have agreed to a peaceful collaboration.

Godfrey Freeman did highlight that collaborative divorce wasn’t the answer to everyone’s problems, but it has a high success rate.

I’m not saying this is a ‘solve all’ thing by any means, but we would look at what’s best for the individual clients and for a good number of people this has proved a success.

But, at the moment, we can only deal with it on a fee-paying basis. We’ve been in negotiations with the LSC to persuade them that it would be a money saver all round.

Record breaking divorce settlement withdrawn at the last minute

The potential British record for a divorce settlement was narrowly avoided when it was withdrawn at the eleventh hour by the wife. Jeweller Laurence Graff looked set to have to pay out a staggering £1 billion to his wife Anne Marie, after their marriage of forty-seven years came to an end; however the settlement was withdrawn in a cloud of mystery.

The figure would have easily set a new British record for a divorce settlement, with the current record set at just £48 million. It is rumoured that the couple have reconciled their marriage.

A statement was released on behalf of the billionaire jeweller stating that he and his wife didn’t intend to divorce. Graff started life as a cleaner in London, but has risen to become the 31st richest man in the world.

The statement from Graff stated:

Mr and Mrs Graff deny that they are, or have any intention of, getting divorced.

According to his spokesman, the fact that the case had been listed was an error. A spokesman for the court disagreed however and said that the case was listed, but removed at the last minute due to judicial discretion.