Fair or Achievable – Spending your money in the right way when divorcing a narcissist
by Tamsin Caine
In this episode, Tamsin talks to family solicitor (among other things) Karin Walker, who is an expert on Narcissistic Personality Disorder, about where to spend your money wisely if you are divorcing a narcissist.
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Karin Walker is a family lawyer, based in Woking, Surrey. She is a solicitor, mediator, collaborative practitioner, neutral evaluator, and arbitrator.
Having previously been a partner in a large Surrey based firm, she set up the award-winning firm, KGW Family Law, in January 2012. All of the firm’s solicitors are trained in mediation and both Karin and her colleague Simon Clark are arbitrators. The ethos of the firm is to encourage clients to consider out of court dispute resolution options, thereby minimising both acrimony and cost.
Karin regularly speaks on all issues relating to family law locally, nationally and, on occasion, internationally. She is also a trainer of family law professionals.
Karin is a co-author (with Dr Supriya McKenna) of “Narcissism and Family Law – A Practitioner’s Guide” and “Divorcing a Narcissist – The lure, the loss and the law”, both of which are published by Bath Publishing.
Tamsin is a Chartered Financial Planner with over 20 years experience. She works with couples and individuals who are at the end of a relationship and want agree how to divide their assets FAIRLY without a fight.
You can contact Tamsin at email@example.com or arrange a free initial meeting using https://bit.ly/SmDiv15min. She is also part of the team running Facebook group Separation, Divorce and Dissolution UK
Tamsin Caine MSc., FPFS
Chartered Financial Planner
Smart Divorce Ltd
P.S. I am the co-author of “My Divorce Handbook – It’s What You Do Next That Counts”, written by divorce specialists and lawyers writing about their area of expertise to help walk you through the divorce process. You can buy it by scanning the QR code…
(The transcript has been created by an AI, apologies for any mistakes)
Tamsin Caine 0:06
In this episode, I’m talking to Karin Walker who is an expert in working with narcissistic personality disorder in family law. It’s a fascinating conversation where we talk about the difference between achieving a fair outcome and an achievable outcome. We also talk about spending your money in sensible places during the divorce process when you’re divorcing someone with narcissistic personality disorder. I hope you enjoy this episode. I really enjoyed talking to Karin. Let’s jump right in. Hello, and welcome to today’s episode of the smart divorce podcast. And today, I’m really excited to be joined by Karin Walker. I heard Karin speaking at a conference. I’m thinking a month ago, but I’m really not sure time seems to be going at a whole different rate at the moment. It could well be less or more than that, but roughly that and she was speaking about divorcing a narcissist on which he is an absolute expert. So thank you, Karin, for joining me today. That’s very kind of you.
Karin Walker 1:19
Oh, my pleasure, Tamsin. It’s really nice to speak to you.
Tamsin Caine 1:21
So I should introduce you properly. So Karin is founding partner of KGW Family Law based in Woking. She is a cyclist, Tim mediator, collaborative lawyer, arbitrator trainer and author and I’m having to read that because there are so many different… she’s also co written two publications on the area of narcissism in family law. And this is what we’re going to be talking about today. So I guess, there’s one specific aspect of this that I want us to, to get into the detail of, but I guess before we really get started, it will be worth attempting to define what narcissism more or narcissistic behaviour is. So can I throw that over to you to begin with?
Karin Walker 2:13
Yes, of course. So. So narcissism is a very particular type of behaviour. And in the books to which you referred, we set out the narcissist playlist, so they, they behave in a very particular way, very often, they’ve suffered some kind of trauma or difficulty in that in the early years of their own life. And quite a useful tool to use as a practitioner is when you meet with a new client, to talk to them not just about their current circumstances, but to drill down a little bit into their background. And you might get some telltale signs of perhaps the loss of a parent to a very young age, or a very bad relationship with a parent or perhaps going off to boarding school at a very early age or anything like that. So it’s that sort of event, which can cause narcissistic personality disorder to develop. And then what you’ll tend to find is someone who’s got extremely low empathy, and who will react to most things in the manner that a four year old might you attribute all of those sorts of tantrum, a very selfish, very self focused approach to, to a situation. I think one of the big giveaway signs is an enormous sense of entitlement, and also an inability to have any boundaries or to have much of an association with the cheese. But I think it’s important to underline at that juncture that obviously, as family lawyers or otherwise, we’re not qualified to make diagnoses or anything like that. So it’s it’s very much looking at a pattern of behaviour and then having a feel for whether someone behaves in a particular way. You’ve then got the example of the cycle of idealise devalue, discard, rinse and repeat. Which is it’s very prevalent as I say that the I think the big red flags are this sense of entitlement See, everything is self focused. no association with the truth, the truth is whatever they wanted to be on a given day, a huge desire to win, and to win at all costs, even to their own detriment. So somebody narcissistic will have an objective, and they’ll want to achieve it. And even if it’s to their own personal disadvantage, if they’re focused on it, again, like that small child, they can’t get that out of their head. So that’s probably a snapshot, the type of person that one is dealing with and sadly because they lack empathy, they’re very poor at relationships. And that means that those of us that deal with separating couples encounter them far more than anybody else might say whilst I think a statistic is that that schools to 5% of the population may suffer from this or show signs of it. In family law work, that percentage zooms up because we’re dealing with those find empathetic people who find it difficult to maintain your relationship.
Tamsin Caine 5:17
Yeah, absolutely. Let us think the words become thrown about bandied about used regularly in, in, in our world to mean somebody who’s very egotistical, perhaps very self centred. And it it How does it I guess, cuz we’re largely this is for rather than practitioners, we’re talking to the general public people who might be in a position where they feel that they are divorcing a narcissist, what will they have been experiencing, that will be the telltale signs that they see.
Karin Walker 5:57
I think it’s a feeling of being constantly on eggshells. See, not really knowing how to deal with this person. I talked about the cycle of idolising, and devaluing and discard. So in the first instance, you will have been loved bombed, you’ll be told you’re the most wonderful person that walked the earth, you’re their soul mate, they will make you feel as though you’re a million dollars. And of course, we all like to feel like that. And they’ll also seek people who are vulnerable to being treated like that. So people who perhaps lack self love, lack self esteem or lack confidence. And because they’re very adept at finding someone who meets these needs that they have, who gives them this narcissistic supply. And so I think it’s if you’re in a relationship where someone makes you feel wonderful, really great about yourself, and then slowly it’s chip chip chip away at that. And suddenly you think, well hang on. Two months ago, I was the best thing that will the earth and now everything, every little thing is being criticised. And it’s a gradual erosion. And, and then that, that that will become worse. And to the point that you may find, imagine they’re perhaps having a relationship with somebody else. Or they’re just their whole demeanour towards you has changed completely. And then as soon as they feel that, perhaps you’re getting a bit Brassed off with this or feeling as though something’s wrong, they’ll put you back up on that pedestal. So it’s that cycle. And once you’re sucked into that behaviour, pattern, a it’s very difficult to leave, it’s a bit scary to leave and what they’re doing to you, all the time, is trying to maintain control. And you’ll find, I think, a number of people to whom I’ve spoken who know there’s something wrong with their relationship, but can’t quite pinpoint it. When you start to delve in and look at the playlist, as I say, that set out in the books, and it all starts to slot together. And they’re not to people to whom we’ve spoken, have said, when they read the books, it’s like reading about their life? Well, it isn’t. It’s it’s been written about a repetitive behaviour pattern, and that’s why it feels like that. But again, at the risk of being repetitive, I think it’s that it’s that sense of entitlement that somebody demonstrates, and making you feel as their spouse that you’re always not quite sure where you are. It’s like being on shifting sands, are you going to be the most wonderful person ever? Or are you going to be criticised at every turn, or some combination of the two, it feels very unsettling and very unnerving. But when it’s good, it’s amazing. And that’s why it’s so hard to pull away from because you’re constantly craving the good times. And that’s what they’re setting up. So that you do say that you behave you behave as they want you to basically and wanting approval constantly will trigger that. Wow. Okay, thank you situations, not not you
Tamsin Caine 9:13
No, and as you say, the book that I’ve got to get this the right way around the load the last than the law. I find it really difficult to say for some reason. I’ve certainly recommended it to clients who have said exactly what you said that it feels that you’ve written that about my life. And I think that’s always a kind of that’s like, Alright, okay, this is this is what we’re dealing with in in these circumstances. And as you say, it’s not it’s not about a diagnosis. It’s about understanding how to work with that person moving forward and what to expect coming at you from the spouse. That divorcing. So I think that’s really useful to begin with. What I really wanted to focus on today was something that you talked about at your talk at the Northern Lights Conference, which is a fantastic family or conference that
Karin Walker 10:17
That was really enjoyable.
Tamsin Caine 10:19
It was absolutely brilliant really was and I came, came away, motivated and, and had learned absolutely loads, which it means that it’s been a good day, if you come away having learned stuff, it’s it’s been a good definitely. But you were talking particularly about, about people who are divorcing a narcissist spending money in the right way. And that just that phrase really hammered home to me. And I wonder if you could expand on that a little bit. Because I think this is a really important topic.
Karin Walker 10:54
I, I think it’s important to remember that narcissistic people like to maintain the chaos and drama of the core process, or they don’t really want an outcome, they’re looking for ongoing supply. And if they didn’t get that through adoration and validation, then they can get it through being in control of creating a very difficult situation and perpetuating it. And so they’ve got no particular desire to bring things to an end. But they also delight in spending somebody else’s money, because again, it’s a control thing. I think when you’ve been on the receiving end of this kind of behaviour, you have a real sense of injustice, that you’ve been treated very badly that things are not fair. And it’s been a massive step to come out of an abusive relationship, it’s probably taken a number of attempts and an awful lot of courage and a really big step to break away. And there’s the expectation that the court system is going to provide fairness, justice, retribution, all these other things. And sadly, those of us who work within that environment know that that court is really the least worst last resort, if that’s where you have to find yourself and makes the best out of a difficult set of circumstances or the best of take care. And so there is, I think, on the part of the person subjected to the behaviour, a willingness to spend money on trying to achieve this fairness, and very often the court is seen as the way to do it. Encouraged hugely by the other spouse, I think it’s important when you’re in this kind of situation, particularly where resources are limited, and nobody has a savings account earmarked for divorce costs in the future. It’s all it’s all money that’s being taken out of somewhere else. So it’s not really reducing the available resources for the family as a whole. So important resources to conserve as far as you can. But I think very important to think about, where is money worth spending? And where are you going to get something back end value for it? And where do you run the risk of wasting money. And having an understanding of that, I think it’s really important. If you think about the end of the case, you of course, if you think about the end of the case, where it’s all completely you’ve reached an agreement, or you’ve had an adjudication, and you think, Alright, that’s it done. And the client probably can’t get away from lawyers fast enough, because they spent a lot of money. And I think they’ve had a cost estimate up to the end. And very often, lawyers give quite small cost estimates for implementation, which I think can be quite dangerous to do in itself. Because when you’re dealing with somebody like this, who is looking for loopholes and problems and future opportunity for ongoing litigation, it’s so important to draft an order really, really carefully, in quite a lot of detail. And I think important to discuss perhaps with your barrister or sister, that this is a really important piece of work, and there’s going to be a cost to it. But it needs to be done properly. It’s not something to be drafted while you’re balancing on one knee and the court waiting room or, or rushed off on some kind of precedent without any proper thought. So I think that’s the first point in circumstances where you’re the recipient of ongoing maintenance, a barrister I know well told me many, many years ago that maintenance is only ever as good as the person who pays it and there’s a A great deal of truth in that you can talk about enforcement and of course enforcement is possible. But it’s not straightforward. And inevitably, there will be a long gap between failure to pay and ability to enforce because the court process just it’s not very quick. So I think it’s also very beneficial when you’ve got your final settlement to go and talk to a financial adviser, somebody who’s looking at your financial long term position and look at things like, what if this goes wrong? What if? What if I don’t get the maintenance for six months? A year ever? How am I going to manage? Where are my strengths and weaknesses? What do I really need to think about? Do I want to take my maximum borrowing capacity now or might be better not doing that? What can I really afford to spend on a property, so having a real sort of health check financially, and also to think about the what ifs if this goes wrong, because narcissistic former partners are not renowned for paying what they’re supposed to pay. And we’ll mess around with things. So I think those are always very, very valuable pieces of work to undertake. And I think that when cost estimates are given, it’s important to build that in and look at the real benefit that that sort of thing can achieve. Where I think it’s important not to spend money is I talked at the conference about the difference between fair and achievable. And there is a big difference between those two things. Sadly, life’s not fair, as I think the star famously said in The Lion King when my children were small. It’s very, very true, it isn’t fair. And and you’re very fortunate if you managed to achieve fairness. And so but because those who’ve been who have been subjected to an abusive relationship, or feel that somebody is now going to put this right that it’s going to be made better. They become reliant on on something, someone to achieve that for them. And so for the to take as a very simple example, if you have a child arrangements order, and the children are supposed to come home at six o’clock on a Sunday, well, narcissists will bring them back and forth, plus 510, plus seven, any variation, but probably not six o’clock, there’s a huge desire in those circumstances to run back to loyal, they were late, they’re always late. I’ve got an order, they need to be told I need to go back to court to have this enforced. Point one. Rarely are those sorts of orders enforced very well. Point to your your narcissistic ex partner will want you to spend money or want to have achieved drama, and best of all want to know, well, that worked, that’s caused an upset, but I’m back centre stage in this situation. So I’m going to do this again. And I now know that it does work. So I’m going to pick up what other aspect of this order I could mess around with safe in the knowledge that actually doing something about that can be quite futile. And so spending money on that sort of thing, rather than when they arrive late to saying, Oh, dear, the traffic must have been bad, nevermind, goodbye, or, oh, gosh, you come early. That’s great. You know, kids, you can come in and do this and help me cook dinner or whatever, just really calm it down, and not rise to it. And they’ll stop because they’re not getting anything back from it and you’re saving money. So I think I don’t know what your experience has been Tamsin in that kind of area. But for me, it’s about picking battles don’t fight back and you can’t win. Even if you feel you’ve got right on your side. Because narcissists aren’t interested in what’s right or wrong. They, they’re interested in getting the attention. And the feeling of being in control, that starting a squabble or battle provokes for them, and then maintaining that is better still, because that’s their real source of supply. If they tried to provoke or pick a fight, and they get nothing back. They’ll move on to something else because they’re not achieving anything. And so, it’s about evaluating, what can I really do about this? And also, you know, I sound as though I’m saying, there’s no point in getting an order. That’s entirely wrong. It’s really important to have a detailed order and a detailed roadmap. But it’s also quite important to talk to the person who’s putting that order together and to find out just how enforceable parts of it are time and again, kind of flipping it around to when parents are expecting to see their children and then the other parent won’t let them or says they’re poorly or whatever. They think they can take that piece of paper to the police station, and that the police, these children. But I think, I think very often people have a misconception of what an order can and can’t achieve. So again, spending some time identifying that. So that you recognise, it’s all very well having an order, but how are you going to enforce it? Or? Or should you just let it go? Because actually, you’re going to spend money that you don’t have achieved very little, and it’s not really a great benefit.
Tamsin Caine 20:48
Yeah, I think that’s brilliant advice. I love that example of, of just, you know, they come home early or late and you just go well, thank you very much for bringing them back bye,
Karin Walker 21:01
Which is really hard to do. Because if you’re, you know, you might be thinking about coming home an hour later, and suddenly your life turned upside down? Or, or, you know, you’ve been waiting for them. And there’s that big worry of children don’t come back on top, you know, are they on a plane to Dubai? Or yeah, all sorts of really scary things. So, and when you when you have been traumatised, and you may want be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, with all everything that that brings with it. So it’s very easy to sort of catastrophize a situation, it just heightens your own anxiety.
Tamsin Caine 21:40
Yeah, absolutely. And I am the world’s best at doing stuff like that. Absolutely sit in sit in those shoes. And I think you’re right, I think it is, it’s, it’s that difference between getting an order. So everybody knows where they stand, and getting an order to think that something’s immediately going to happen differently, that they’re two different things. But although they’re the same, you know, it is you do need everything written down, you do need the detail, and you do need to understand what what may or may not happen afterwards. And I think I think that’s, that’s vitally important. You talked before about, about maintenance, ongoing maintenance and the likelihood of the ex paying, or not paying the preference from what I can gather, and that you’re saying, and this would be my view as well. It sounds like if there’s an option of not having ongoing maintenance and taking capital, so instead, even if it’s a little bit lower, that would be preferable than relying on ongoing maintenance that may or may not turn up.
Karin Walker 22:56
Definitely, the rules say that the court must consider a clean break in every case, it’s not just me, they must say that objective for the court is to try to sever people financially. If it’s achievable, when you’re dealing with somebody who’s narcissistic, that’s even more important, because it’s going to take away a point of contact and a dependency, if you think about the fact they want to be in control, or somebody’s providing someone with part or all of their income, which meets their needs, it’s a pretty big control to have. And if you can take that away, then then all the better. And, you know, back to fair and achievable. Sometimes, if you can get a clean break, even though it might mean that you’re going to take less than you might have been advised would be fair. If a clean break is achievable, and you could manage and it’s within the bracket, or to court would see as reasonable, then the fact that you become the author or threats of your own future financially, is vitally important. And it just removes that opportunity for messing around in the future or every month, just wondering if we’re gonna get get my money this month or not. And because things tend to be paid, just after the paying person has been paid, so a little bit further towards the end of the month. And because most people standing orders a setup at the beginning of the month, you know, you could have just two or three days of complete crisis, not knowing where to turn. And that’s why I said earlier, I think in having that conversation to look at if disaster struck, how would I get myself through a few months? Is it worth trying to put some money on one side? Or how, how would I deal with this because again, that there may be a period of time with almost nothing and to literally have no money in your bank account is a very, very unpleasant experience. areas?
Tamsin Caine 25:01
Yeah, absolutely terrifying. I think our kind of view is always try and have kind of, if you possibly can three to six months of your bills covered have your lifestyle covered in a in a pot somewhere else just so that you you know, if the worst comes to the worst there’s there’s something there and the bills can be paid and, and food can be put on the table because that’s it’s terrifying not to be in that position we talked about, about using the courts and about how your narcissist acts is likely to use the courts. And in these cases often go all the way cuz there’s no desire to settle it and FDR, and we’re we’re all the way to the final hearing and heaps of money have been has been spent. Is there ever an opportunity in the circumstances to avoid to that to attempt the dispute resolution route? Or is that just that’s just not going to work?
Karin Walker 26:05
No, I think I think there is. You’ve got that balance between somebody narcissistic wanting to perpetuate the drama, and stay in this sort of model that is sorting things out. Against they quite like to feel special. So if you can sell to them, that ADR arbitration mediation is for the, for the discerning person who’s going to settle things in a very grown up and very future focused way and quite innovative way, then then that plays to their inner ego and think, Oh, well, you know, I’m a very special person. So I would like to adopt this opportunity. But don’t think that mediation in its classic form with the mediator and the couple together works particularly well, because I’m not saying it never works. But I think there’s a real danger of setting up a triangle. And for the narcissist to switch between rescuer and perpetrator and victim and spin that circle. But I think that if you have, if you have a mediator who understands the dynamic that’s going on, recognises the need to win on one side and the desire to get out on the other and can help facilitate the creation of an outcome which meets the needs of both. And if you’re very, very skilled at it, you will help create an outcome where the narcissist thinks they’ve won, but actually, they happened, that their spouse has already thought three steps ahead of them, and has put forward a proposal knowing that they will come back with something less and knowing that they will be prepared to accept that so I think that can work extremely well. And arbitration I think works well because it’s it’s it’s very much presented as for those who want to be a bit more sensible about the slicker and I think anything that that smacks of being a private system or or something a little bit elevated, which it isn’t at all, but I think you can sell it as though it is actually works extremely well for people who have very limited resources because it’s quicker and it can be extremely cost effective, but I think you can sell it as that sort of higher level of dealing with things that anything like that is very likely to work similarly think mutual evaluation is a very underused tool where you bring in somebody to just get give a view about what they think the outcome should be. It’s an I think the fact that it’s used in frequently makes a narcissist feel or this is quite unique and they think that I would warrant this thing I think that can work can work well and definitely don’t think that ADR should be ruled out think the difficulty is that the narcissist will want to prolong matters and so you’ve got to find a reason why prolonging it isn’t great. I think also cutting down the communication so I think always can think about this as well, that if you don’t respond to letters all the time and you kind of leave things and reply in one go to 16 different emails or whatever else you might have received. And the narcissist doesn’t feel that they’re getting that instant ping pong fix. So they ping an email out they wanted immediate reaction and ideally, an immediate Have tooing and froing or, or creation of a bit of a moment in this or because that’s what makes them feel good about themselves. And they sense the attention that they’re immediately getting. If that doesn’t happen, then they may become slightly less interested in in this court process. So then to turn their focus to something, which does make them feel special, I have an ADR process, which isn’t used quite so much can work to the advantage of everyone.
Tamsin Caine 30:29
Yeah, that’s really interesting. I was going to ask you about communication between, from solicitor to work between solicitors, I guess, because my understanding and I’m not a lawyer, but is that solicitors are acting on on their clients instructions. So if they’re told to send a letter over and over again, and I’m assuming this is the sort of behaviour that we can expect from a narcissist, they’re obligated to do that do how much? How much space do they have?
Karin Walker 31:07
I think it depends on the individual as to how they run their practice. But yes, you do act on instructions. So you know, you can give your client the most sensible advice in the world, if they are not prepared to listen to it. That’s their prerogative. And you would stop acting for someone if there’s a breakdown in confidence between solicitor and client, actually, that’s quite easy to create in the narcissistic environment, because probably they criticised you more than once. Because they treat their lawyer in the same way that they would treat that their former partner. But it’s, I think, it’s important to think about from your own perspective, as a lawyer, what you’re contributing towards, so we’re all really busy. So you might not be able to, I might not have time to get that letter out isn’t immediately bombarding the other person. I don’t send things out on a Friday afternoon, late, unless it’s something produced simple and straightforward. So you might say to your narcissistic client, sorry, we don’t send correspondence out later, this will have to go on Monday. And I think you can do that without not following instructions. So you can have some kind of moderating to it. Quite sort of topically as we zoom our way towards Christmas. Again, when we had full base divorce, occasionally, we would be asked to issue divorce proceedings on Christmas Eve, or make sure that they arrived on Christmas Eve now, as a practitioner, I would never do that instructed or otherwise, it’s just not appropriate. In my view. I was asked on a few occasions I always said though, particularly if there are children, but for all kinds of reasons, because it would arrive on Christmas Eve, most people are closed and until January, you can’t get advice. So I just wouldn’t do it. But I’m sure well, I know that there are people who wouldn’t did. And I’m sure that because we now have an online system, there might well be people who would log on and do said things on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Who knows. But so, you know, yes, I think yes, of course, lawyers have to take instructions and act on instructions. And that can become a shield to hide behind. But there’s all there’s also a way of practising and I think that and it’s again about boundaries. I said about not sending things out late on Friday, and so on. So yeah, I think you set your own professional boundaries. And if you have clients who want to push those, you just say no, if you have a client who wants to ring you at 11 o’clock at night, you just say no, I’m asleep. But you know, boundaries, big or small, are important. And I think we have to as professionals set our own professional boundaries. And probably another indicator of whether somebody suffers from NPD or not back to my earlier point about entitlement and boundaries, they think they can control you. And you’ve you’ve got to act in in their best interests and you take their instructions but you still maintain your professional boundaries.
Tamsin Caine 34:35
Yeah, absolutely. And as as a solicitor on the receiving end of let’s say the solicitor on the working for the sister had less strict band is someone like yourself, and was bombarding your solicitor with with correspondence. Do those just that correspondence need to be all passed on to your client?
Karin Walker 35:02
No, I don’t think it does. I think you can agree with your client and things like, you know, I’m not going to send you, if they don’t want to have everything. That’s their instructions they they should do. And you would write, and want to say, you do need to know everything, this is your life, not mine. But if you know it’s going to upset them, you might want to pick the phone up first and tell them what the content of the email or letter is, you might want to put in the heading of the email that you sent them. This is fine. Don’t be worried about opening it. Because sometimes when you’re the recipient, I know that sounds amazing. But when you’re the recipient, and you get an email, and you think, you know, you go cold, and you think God, what’s going to be in this, and it might just be the is the valuation report for some things. It’s nothing to be alarmed about at all. And I think conveying that, because you don’t know what’s in an email until you’ve opened it is, again, important. And I think having that conversation back to spending money at the right time, having that conversation with your client right at the outset so that you’re setting boundaries, and parameters, and you have an understanding with them. That that’s something that is likely to be hurtful or difficult. You’ll talk through with them rather than just sending it out. And the worst thing you could do, as a lawyer in those circumstances, is just ping something out with no covering anything, especially on a Friday afternoon, and then trash someone’s weekend. So you’d be sensible about how you deal with that. I think if you’ve got a solicitor on the other side, he’s bombarding you with hostile correspondence. I pick up the phone, and, you know, suss out, first of all, whether they give a deep sigh and say, This is my worst case, I can’t wait for it to me, I’m so sorry, I’m sending you this stuff. But I’ve got two or words to that effect. Or, or that they might be the complete other end of that scale and be quite hostile at themselves. And then at least you know where you are when your own from your practice perspective. I’m a great fan of picking up the phone. I think we hide behind the written word far too much now.
Tamsin Caine 37:26
Yeah, I’m absolutely ready. I think there’s a massive danger in the written word, because it’s, it’s not, it’s always received in a different way. Not always, though, it’s often received in a different way in than which it was written, because you’ll receive it in the emotional state that you’re in at the time that you read it. And we can read all sorts of things into emails, though, that don’t aren’t intended. I think, I think the creation of the emoji has massively helped with this. And that sounds ridiculous. But something you know a word like, like, somebody could write great. Well, I could have been great as in. That’s absolutely fantastic. Brilliant. I’m so chuffed, or it could be a really sarcastic, great, you know, and you can’t, you can’t tell from that one word and emails are exactly the same. So I’m with you, I think you can absolutely from somebody’s tone of voice and somebody’s in their language they use on the phone much more easily work out who they are, and where they’re coming from then then in an email. So I think that’s, I think that’s really, really interesting and really useful. To know, kind of what, how you dealing with these things in your comment about the about the note on the email about the concept, and naming the email is so incredibly useful. One of my clients was having a terrible time with her ex. And she said, can I just ping that email straight to you? Like, I don’t even want to open it. But when it comes to me kind of just send it straight on. And I was like, of course you can. And it’s just like they knew read it. And it says, so it was like, absolutely no problem whatsoever. But these are, you know, the situations we’re dealing with people are in going through divorce or in heightened state of emotion at the end of the day, aren’t they?
Karin Walker 39:27
Very much so. Yeah. And I think anything that as professionals involved we can do to alleviate that is really important.
Tamsin Caine 39:38
Yeah. No, I think you’re absolutely right. And really horribly we’re at the end of our time together, Karen.
Karin Walker 39:48
Thought to you,
Tamsin Caine 39:49
Is there anything that I should have asked you that I didn’t or that you would like to add in summary before we part ways?
Karin Walker 39:58
No, I don’t I think so I think that’s covered. What I thought would be useful. You know, I think as we discussed at the conference, this idea of when it when people perhaps don’t want to spend money but should and when they, when they are very ready to spend money, but shouldn’t, is quite an important aspect.
Tamsin Caine 40:21
Yeah, absolutely, vitally important completely agree. And I love the the difference between fair and achievable. I think that’s, that’s a massively important takeaway that people can get from this podcast. Erin, thank you so much for joining me, it’s been an absolute pleasure.
Karin Walker 40:39
It’s been a pleasure to see you too. Thank you so much for asking me.
Tamsin Caine 40:47
I hope you enjoyed the episode of the Smart Divorce podcast. If you would like to get in touch please have a look in the show notes for our details or go onto the website www.smartdivorce.co.uk. Also if you are listening on Apple podcasts or on Spotify and you wouldn’t mind leaving us a lovely five star review. That would be fantastic. I know that lots of our listeners are finding this is incredibly helpful in their journey through separation divorce and dissolving a civil partnership. Also, if you would like some further support, we do have Facebook group now. It’s called ‘Separation divorce and dissolution UK.’ Please do go on to Facebook, search up the group and we’d be delighted to have you join us. The one thing I would say is do please answer their membership questions. Okay, have a great day and take care!