Christina is Divorce Aid's founder, author of the site and editor. Her background was in export sales management, having travelled extensively in Central and South America. But when Christina's long marriage ended several years ago, she began work on Divorce Aid so that people had easy access to information and services which she found difficult to find. 'We can't promise to take away the pain but we can help you get through it', she says. For the past fifteen years she has been involved in family law.
She passionately believes in providing good legal information in a down-to-earth style coupled with holistic advice. Together with the services of family law solicitors and other professionals, she hopes that the divorce process can be made less painful for all concerned, especially children. Counselling, mediation and collaborative law are keenly promoted. Whenever people need specific information, emails receive a personal reply. 'Everyone needs to be heard and understood and there is never a question to which we are unable to reply.'
Christina enjoys all things Spanish, classical concerts, reading, swimming and trying to cook. She intends to learn t'ai chi; an annual intention as she has two left feet. She lives with her children in Rutland.
Divorce Aid benefits from Jeremy's wise legal advice on a daily basis. He has answered countless questions, seven days a week and many enquirers have been comforted by his reassuring and succinct style over the phone when they have been in a distressing situation. His dulcet tones were heard on previous Jeremy Vine shows on BBC Radio 2 and he has appeared on Sky TV's legal channel.
Born in 1935, Jeremy became a solicitor in 1958 and specialises in family law and civil mediation. He is married and lives in Devon. His interesting cases were representing Norman Scott and defending Corky the Cockerel, both of which attracted national media attention but you would have to be a certain age to remember the Scott/Thorpe case.
During his long legal career, he has held many positions. Recently, he was the President of Devon & Exeter Law Society (2002/3) and is currently Vice President Legal Aid Commission Federation of European Bars. As the founder & principle mediator for the acclaimed Exeter County Court Small Claims Court Mediation Scheme, he has been instrumental in settling 80% of current cases through mediation.
He is also a mediation trainer and board member for the Polish Mediators
Association and Chairman of Devon & Exeter Law Society's Mediation
Committee and Member of International Committee. He has given talks in
Germany,Zimbabwe,Kenya (to the Commonwealth Law Conference) Baku (Azerbaijan),
to the members of the Federation of European Bars and held seminars and training in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda Tanzania and St
Petersburg. He has also been invited to Hong Kong.
Jeremy is a member of Resolution and is, of course, a keen advocate of mediation, whenever possible, rather than litigation to resolve problems. With this aim in mind, he enjoys helping people via Divorce Aid and his own Mediation Show in conjunction with Legal TV on Sky 180. In his spare time, he enjoys flying and used to take part in motor racing.
On behalf of all our enquirers, thank you Jeremy.
We are privileged to have David Hodson as a member of our Team. In the legal profession, he is well known and respected nationally and internationally as a leading family lawyer. He is an accredited family law specialist, qualified as a solicitor in 1978 and is also mediator and arbitrator. He was admitted as Solicitor of Supreme Court New South Wales, Australia in 2003.He was appointed Deputy District Judge Principal Registry of the Family Division, London in 1995 and was a past member of the Lord Chancellor's Family Proceedings Rules Committee.
David specialises in work for medium and high net worth individuals in family law dispute resolution, often with an international perspective. He was formerly a partner in top English City firms, Theodore Goddard and Frere Cholmeley Bischoff and head of their family law departments. He was a founding partner of The Family Law Consortium, a blueprint for many other family law firms, and has spent two years working for a top Sydney law practice. He now runs his own specialist practice as a solicitor and mediator, based in Surrey but working often by email for international and national clients.
He is a well-known and frequent writer and lecturer on family law. David has often dealt with media interest in cases and is experienced in TV, radio and press interviews. He was primary author of 'Divorce Reform: A Guide to Lawyers and Mediators' (FT Law and Tax) and co-author of 'The Business of Family Law' (Jordans), a leading textbook on management of family law practices. He has spoken on a wide range of family law topics including annual nationwide lecture tours to Resolution local groups. He has spoken at many international conferences and has often been involved in instigating proceedings abroad. He has been elected a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
His legal and mediation interests include:
Past chair Solicitors Family Law Association Good Practice Committee, Training Committee and Ancillary Relief Reform Committee; Past Member (8 years) SFLA National Committee; Member SFLA International Committee, President's International Committee and Law Society's Financial Provision Reform Committee and Protocol Committee. Former elected governor and vice chair of UK College of Family Mediators; Fellow, International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers; Former trustee, Marriage Resource; Member, Lawyers Christian Fellowship, English Law Society, Law Council of Australia (Family Law Section), International Bar Association, NSW Law Society, Solicitors' Benevolent Fund, Society for Computers and the Law.
On behalf of the Lawyers Christian Fellowship, he has lobbied on a number of family law issues and is a past trustee of Marriage Resource, an umbrella group for a number of local organisations providing marriage counselling services and other measures to support marriages.
Despite David's immense workload and travelling commitments, he always finds time to assist Divorce Aid especially regarding international family law. We thank him most sincerely for this tremendous support. In his spare time, David writes novels and is a keen scuba diver.
Alexandra combines excellent legal knowledge with great empathy to help clients find creative solutions to best meet the unique needs of their family. She helps them to communicate and reality-test solutions that work and are fair to them both. She is able to provide expert family law information neutrally to both clients and works well with lawyers as necessary.
Alexandra has considerable experience and expertise in relationship dynamics and methods of communication that assist the parties to really listen to each other, move forwards and resolve issues for mutual gain.
She has been a Specialist in Advanced Financial Provision and Private Children Act Law since 2003 and now acts as a lawyer, lawyer mediator and collaborative lawyer, based in Oxford and West London and as a consultant with Moss Fallon Solicitors in Wiltshire.
Paula is a BASRT Accredited and UKCP Registered Relationship Psychotherapist, she works both for Relate and in private practice. Over the past 15 years, she has worked with many hundreds of clients helping them to overcome relationship or sexual difficulties or face an imminent divorce. She has also trained with Relate as a young people's counsellor and family counsellor helping people to come to terms with the inevitable impact divorce and separation has on families.
Paula has written two of the recent Relate guides, 'Help Your Children Cope with Your Divorce' and 'How to Have a Healthy Divorce' Both of these are available from our Books section. She is also author of 'Improving Your Relationship For Dummies.'
As an expert on relationships, she is regularly asked to comment for national press and women's magazines as well as appearing on national radio and television. She a frequent guest on BBC Breakfast, GMTV and Radio 4's Woman' Hour.
Dr Richard Dobbins
Richard is our Treasurer. He is a management consultant, chartered certified accountant, author, editor and lecturer. He spent 20 years at the University of Bradford's Business School, focusing on MBA and PhD programmes. He also lends a hand in the office whenever he can.
He also lectures on MBA programmes around the world and to business groups in this country. 'What Self-made Millionaires Really Think, Know & Do: A Straight-talking Guide to Business Success & Personal Riches' is the latest book co - written by Richard and is featured in our Books section. He is a passionate antiques collector, and aficionado of classical music.
Doc, real name Stephen Russell, is a healer, t'ai chi expert, ex Observer Wellbeing columnist, self-help expert, best-selling author (including: Handbook for the Urban Warrior, Return of the Urban Warrior, Liberation and Dear Barefoot), media presence, creator of the Barefoot Doctor Chi/Qi range of perfumes, lotions and potions and general spiritual entertainer.
He is also an accomplished musician and now presides over his incredibly popular website which has podcasts, details of meditation sessions, forums, courses, one-on-one sessions with the Doc and so much more. Read more from him in our News and views section.
Stephen has supported and contributed on a frequent basis to Divorce Aid since 2001 when he and Christina first met. We value his candid and compassionate writing. If you are an Observer reader, you probably will have read his articles or you may have heard him on Radio 2 or seen him on Sky TV.
Richard and his team at Isle Interactive in Ely near Cambridge have created the Divorce Aid mark II website with professionalism and great patience.
We are all indebted to Mark at Splashweb who stepped in to the breach as our 2nd Webmaster;he still rues the day he joined us as we have caused him numerous headaches and long hours of work. His patience and perseverance enabled our first website to be completed and promoted. He now acts as our promotional consultant and oversees Christina's lack of technical ability but has to admit that she has learnt a great deal from him over the years, but still a muppet.
Laurie is an Associate with Barlow Robbins Solicitors. He is a solicitor and barrister, specialising in intellectual property and technology. We welcome his expertise in these matters. To contact him, please see our Copyright article in this section.
Laurie has particular expertise in trade marks, branding, advertising, sponsorship, media law and the licensing of all intellectual property right particularly as part of technology transfer arrangements. He also advises in relation to information law and data protection. He regularly lectures and presents seminars on intellectual property, data protection and information management.
Laurie became a barrister in 1985 and was admitted as a solicitor in 1994. He was listed as a Legal Expert in Legal Business 2005; is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Member of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, the Computer Law Association and the Society for Computers and the Law.
His interests include history, classical music, food and wine and travel.