women separation seminar

Women’s Separation Seminar – The Presenters

A ground-breaking separation seminar entitled ‘Separating with Style’ aims to empower, re-energise and refocus women who are undergoing a traumatic separation or divorce.

Believed to be the first event of its kind, the free of charge session at The Showroom in Sheffield on November 23rd 2016 has been devised by a collaboration of four leading professional advisors who have themselves experienced distressing family issues.

The presenters are life coach:

  • Dawn Bates – Life Coach
  • Vanessa Fox -Partner and Head of hlw Keeble Hawson’s family law department
  • Polly Ker – Mortgage and Protection advisor Optimum Financial Solutions
  • Sandra Russell – Partner and Head of the family law team at Graysons Solicitors.

They jointly combine seventy years of expertise in their respective fields.

The seminar, which runs from 6.30pm-8.30pm, will equip attendees with tips and techniques to transform negative emotions such as being scared, ashamed and helpless – into feeling independent, proud and empowered.

The seminar will also signpost the audience to a variety of organisations and professionals that can represent women and provide practical and financial advice on key issues such as securing the best legal processes to ensure a fair settlement; new living arrangements and relocation; how to structure finances – and the impact of separation on careers.

Vanessa Fox said: “Our collaboration has been borne from a collective passion and desire to help women in this situation – many of whom are understandably unable to process the seismic event and who need access to vital sources of emotional, legal and financial support.

According to Vanessa, the three major issues for women when separating are:

  • Housing: most clients want to know where they’re going to be able to live – and this is where partnerships with other professional counsellors, such as IFAs, can be invaluable.

Together, we look at what they can afford – for example, will they be able to keep up the mortgage or rent on their current home or have to downsize? It is always more expensive running two households similar to the shared family home, so unless the couple is extremely wealthy, it is likely that both former partners will have to make lifestyle concessions somewhere.”

  • Children: mothers are understandably anxious to minimise the impact on children and again, the non-confrontational way is preferable as youngsters will be exposed to as little discord as possible. Even so, children need emotional support at what is a tense, uncertain time – and parents must often be equipped to provide it.

I recommend to all clients that a counsellor can give them the toolkit they need. I saw one when my marriage ended and the sessions were invaluable in making the breakup as smooth as possible with as little impact on the family as could be managed.”

  • Managing financially: many women worry about living on a reduced income – for example, if they are now on a single wage or none at all.

A surprising proportion of them are surprised that benefits such as tax credits may be available. They are also often unaware that a child maintenance calculator exists to establish what minimum amount their ex must provide to support them.

We talk through with our clients what they might be entitled to – and from which sources.”

The first question some clients ask is, ‘How much can I get?’

As this is usually a grey area rather than a black and white sum, my response is “What do you want? Let’s see how we can achieve that” – and we try to do it with the minimum of conflict and argument with the other side.

A mediated, agreed solution with compromise and few points of dispute, where both parties feel fairly treated is always best.

As our seminar will reflect, I always advise clients to take a holistic approach to separation and collaborate with financial advisors, life coaches and counsellors.

Commented Dawn Bates: “All four of us have had first-hand experience of relationship problems, we are all fighters and living proof that where there’s a will, there’s a way. And it’s this attitude, combined with our backgrounds in business/personal coaching, law and finance that make us the ideal hosts for such an event.

Added Sandra Russell: “The breakdown of a relationship should never define who you are, but it can be a defining point in your life. Our aim is to open women’s eyes to the world of possibilities that exist beyond divorce or separation and motivate them to take action and create a plan for their future that promotes feelings of independence, pride and empowerment.”

A question and answer session will follow the presentations and attendees will have the opportunity to discuss specific issues on a one-to-one basis with all speakers.

Concluded Polly Ker: “The session is also open to women who work with those affected by separation such as doctors, therapists, social service workers, and family law firms who are welcome to attend, contribute and learn more about how divorce affects their patients and clients and what they can do to help them to take action with a more positive outlook.

Places may be limited so please contact exploring@dawnbates.com or call 07886 595886.