#6 The changing family unit
In this final episode, Holly and Vernon delve deep into divorce and are joined by family law barrister, Paula Rhone-Adrien who shares expert advice on how to help your kids cope during difficult family break-ups.
Read about why post-divorce pensions are important.
00:00:00 Vernon Kay
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00:00:28 Vernon Kay
Hello everyone and welcome to our podcast, with me Vernon Kay and Holly Mackay. Holly we've got a big subject today. It's about the changing family unit and the ways in which the family unit inside the four walls can change quickly, rapidly or can change over a prolonged period of time. And we are talking about things like Son or Daughter moving out of the home to go to University were talking about Son or daughter coming out and telling their parents, hey look I'm gay or I'm trans or whatever, or things as simple as divorce, you know?
00:00:59 Vernon Kay
Anything that can change the family units to the structure of the family unit.
00:01:03 Vernon Kay
I think it's an interesting conversation to be had, and I hope that people enjoy this podcast because we are covering all bases. We're not just talking about even all sponsored by Aviva we are not just talking about money and and and we're not just talking about parenting as a whole. I think over the series, we have covered so many different subjects and given an insight to each other on how our lives are different, but yet at the end of the day. I think everyone seems to be running in parallels and this is a big subject hear, the changing family unit.
00:01:32 Holly Mackay
Yeah its sort of, I was thinking about this on the way in, I guess it's sort of not. We’re no longer faced with traditional families with that was at 2.2. Kids in the Volvo. You know, the makeup of sort of families is very.
00:01:46 Holly Mackay
Different these days, and I guess. Something from my experience is.
00:01:51 Holly Mackay
You know how divorce can change your family and I did have a slight grin to myself cause in your intro kind of comments you put the adjective simple next to divorce.
00:02:03 Holly Mackay
As someone who's been through it you know. It takes twice as long costs twice as much and is always twice as draining as you ever think. And for me that's something if I look around. My sort of friend group as well. That's probably the biggest single driver that does.
00:02:22 Holly Mackay
But it feels like at the time you know that it rips a family in half, and it is obviously quite often physically. It kind of removes the family and splits them in half, but it's very difficult thing.
00:02:35 Holly Mackay
To tackle as a parent, because you inevitably feel that you've made a mistake.
00:02:41 Vernon Kay
Sorry Holly, just to explain yourself there, how does it feel like a mistake? Mistake that you got married in the 1st place or a mistake that the relationship didn't work out?
00:02:48 Holly Mackay
It feels like not, perhaps more failure because when, if you think about it, adults,deafinatly.
00:02:52 Vernon Kay
Between the true parents.
00:02:55 Holly Mackay
When you think about it if you if you go into a marriage you, stand there don't you, and you make your vowels and you say this Is this is going to be something that's going to last forever, so inevitably when it crumbles, and it breaks down.
00:03:10 Holly Mackay
I definitely sort of looked at it and I went. No one ever goes into marriage with the aim of it failing. So when it does, it of course feels like a failure. And if you've got young children or children of any age in the equation.
00:03:26 Holly Mackay
It's brutal because they don't. In most instances they don't want Mum and dad separate and they will see it as something.
00:03:36 Holly Mackay
The’ll question whether it's their fault. The language they use is really interesting, when my son, It happened when the kids where a lot younger. I think he's about 4 and he used to go around saying we're getting divorced Ive always had to stop and so darling, you're not mummy, loves you very much. Daddy loves you very much. But mummy and Daddy. My analogy was where all kind of jigsaw pieces in jigsaw pieces that change and move and grow over.
00:04:04 Holly Mackay
Time and sometimes the jigsaw pieces don't fit together anymore, but it was a real effort to kind of tell them that it wasn't anything they've done wrong. so, it's a, it's a minefield Vernon. It was really hard, but you do feel like a failure.
00:04:16 Vernon Kay
Yeah, from your from your experience and obviously we can only talk about that because you've been there and you've been through it from your experience, we're talking about the changing family unit because you and your husband separated when the kids were so young. Does that give the family unit the opportunity now?
00:04:36 Vernon Kay
With you and your kids to build a different bond together.
00:04:41 Vernon Kay
In the same household.
00:04:42 Holly Mackay
It's definitely it changes the dynamic a lot because it becomes, more intense. So, when there with me there with me.
00:04:54 Holly Mackay
And it's them and me, and it's all quite intense. And then they spend a lot of time, which is fantastic with their dad they got Holidays sort of weekends.
00:05:03 Holly Mackay
And then they leave, I can't lie Vernon, sometimes when that door closes on a Friday.
00:05:09 Holly Mackay
But you know?
00:05:11 Holly Mackay
Then it's all or nothing too, and then it gets to sort of Saturday. And there are times I think I'd like to do that with them. Or It's a little bit quiet round here at the moment, so it was definitely sort of all or nothing, but it's it's um.
00:05:24 Vernon Kay
It's interesting that element of let's be honest we all love our kids. We would do anything for our kids and it's your responsibility as a parent to be like that.
00:05:34 Vernon Kay
But it's funny like you, said that when the kids go off to dads at the weekend. It's like. Oh yes, it is same sensation or same feeling I would imagine when the kids start back at school when it's no longer summer Holidays like School tomorrow.
00:05:52 Holly Mackay
Bye darlings, missing you.
00:05:53 Vernon Kay
And as soon as they are in the car,
00:05:55 Holly Mackay
Stick blondie on or whatever.
00:05:58 Vernon Kay
It's time to go.
00:05:58 Holly Mackay
It's it's it's very weird and it took me
00:06:01 Vernon Kay
Because, sorry to interrupt Holly, because we have to understand that at the end of the day, parents we’re still.
00:06:08 Vernon Kay
Active like when you have kids you don't die inside life doesn't stop you know that fire keeps burning. It's just your responsibilities change and I think that I'm a big advocate of girls weekends. An lads weekends where you can go and just let off steam and be yourself, because you live in that parental bubble where I think a lot of couples find it difficult. The focus of the relationship is no longer you and your partner it's no longer.
00:06:36 Vernon Kay
You then become Mummy and Daddy and you become children and then sometimes parents be like, wow hang on a minute darling do you remember me? Hi. But I think I think also you know; another big change of the family unit is when kids go away to uni or when kids flee the nest, like when myself and my brother fled the nest my mom was kind of like well what do I do now?
00:06:59 Vernon Kay
You know, because she's from working, working background and my dad grafted as well. But my mum sole purpose was to be the best mum that she could be in. She's absolutely brilliant. She brought us up superbly but when we both fled the nest I was down London. My brother was at University is like.
00:07:19 Vernon Kay
What do I do now and that's a big change in someone's life and I'm not looking forward to that when we have an empty household because I mentioned before I love the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Having kids growing up and the stages that the kids grow up through an experience because I've got a sense that and I know I am I'm enjoying watching.
00:07:42 Vernon Kay
No I'm enjoying riding the journey with my kids through their growing up. You know, I've tried my damnedest to get them into every sport it's getting to play golf to watch American football with me, to come to the rugby with me, but it's not happening. I am a ballet dad. It's as simple as that, to the point where I've donned the two two. I don't mind saying that, and I've danced with them and it.
00:08:06 Holly Mackay
Hang on can we just rewind?
00:08:07 Vernon Kay
No We're not going to rewind. We won't spend any time of me in a two two.
00:08:10 Speaker 2
Photos, photo’s, Please Vernon.
00:08:11 Vernon Kay
No, but I think I think.
00:08:14 Vernon Kay
Once kids realise that you're part of that Storey.
00:08:17 Vernon Kay
Of their Storey.
00:08:19 Vernon Kay
That's when it becomes a little bit.
00:08:20 Vernon Kay
Easier and I can't imagine, I can't Imagine it breaks my heart and I'm thinking that they're not going to be at home for. I mean, Phoebe 16 she will be off to University two years, Ambers 11, She will be off to University in seven years. It's like.
00:08:37 Holly Mackay
You say I don't. I don't have that same sense unless you are talking. Perhaps it's cause I'm use to them.
00:08:41 Holly Mackay
Being away with their dad. For example, in summer Holidays of they go for two weeks, so I've learnt that is a great lunch at 1st and it felt really old. But you get used to.
00:08:53 Holly Mackay
So, I'm quite used to them going off and doing something for two weeks without me, your kid's probably haven't really been away from you except for that long ever.
00:09:08 Vernon Kay
Although it's funny you should say that Pheobe really did enjoy her summer holiday away with friends this year. For some reason.
I can't think why.
00:09:10 Holly Mackay
Because two two wearing dad, in the background was nowhere to be seen.
00:09:13 Vernon Kay
Trust me the two two is the least of my worries when it comes to costumes in our house. Good grief Ive been All sorts. I love Halloween as we discover on Christmas.
00:09:22 Vernon Kay
So, dressing up is a real thrill for me.
00:09:26 Vernon Kay
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00:09:37 Vernon Kay
Okay, Holly, so let's not dig our pit any deeper. Let's bring in a specialist, shall we? Paula Roan, Paula just explain your job title.
So I am a practising barrister in England and Wales. That means I represent people who are coming to court in my area of speciality is family law.
00:10:01 Holly Mackay
Happy, happy divorce.
I'm with you on that one Holly.
Happy divorce, sadly, children who are living in one household and attempting to have contact with a non-resident parent or non-resident grandparents and children who unfortunately removed from their parents' care.
So, some quite heavy topics.
00:10:25 Vernon Kay
Okay, so first question, how do you personally deal with the involvement? The deep involvement that you have in the things that haven't gone too well in people's personal relationships and households that must be really difficult for you personally.
It is really difficult, and Ive been doing this job for over 20 years and what they tell you about this job. It is, is it. You should take regular 6 week breaks because the magnitude of emotion that you are having to manage so you are having to manage your clients and emotions. You're dealing. Then, on top of that. We will see incredibly emotional topics that may even be touching on your own personal life and within your own family. We have all got family, and we know how wonderful family can be.
How exciting they make our lives and so for me personally, I had to take breaks?
00:11:28 Vernon Kay
So, let's get down to a subject which is personal for how Holly in particular, and it's something that is on the increase, or we're talking about divorce of course, and I don't. I honestly don't know where to start because I'm not getting divorced, and we’ve talked about. You know all relationships have bumps in the road and and that's just life. That's life, it really is.
00:11:51 Vernon Kay
But as couples go through the process, Paula, what's the most difficult thing for Mummy and daddy for parents? Is it and is it admit or to come to terms with? Is it difficult for the parents to say our relationship is broken down? We admit that it's time to separate. What is this start of the process like is what I'm trying to say because I find it difficult to comprehend that you get to that position where you close the door. That's the most upsetting thing for me. You close the door on your relationship and it's game over.
Yeah. Well, it's so funny that.
That's your first question, because I was with a client last night.
And yes, it was the night-time because you can't say when the emotion is going to suddenly start to flow and when you suddenly need that ear, that kind of objective ear to hear that emotion flow and you hold yourself together in every day. You wake up and you remember what happened and you get dressed and.
You sort the kids out and you go to.
Work and you hold yourself together throughout that time.
And you might get an email from a solicitor, or you might you know how to speak to your partner because you might still be sharing a house with them, and you might have to speak to them about something to do.
With the paperwork, but you know you're.
Holding yourself together and then he gets in the night-time.
And the kids go to bed or they're doing their own thing. Whatever their ages are and then you suddenly have this free time on your hands and then you suddenly start thinking.
And then you start wondering have I made the right decision.
And you go through that question. Those list of questions that you have in your head and everyone has that list thats personal to them.
And you ask yourself the same question over and over and over again. And I'm saying to this client it's that that exercise that ultimately is going to drive you insane and why you need to talk to someone because you didn't just wake up this morning.
00:13:56 Vernon Kay
Paula, when you say talk to someone you mean a councillor of some sort.
Absolutely, absolutely, to a councillor, absolutely engage.
Because you know what, as much as your friends and family are amazing and as much as they love you and you love them, they also love the children and they also love the person who is leaving but their torn.
00:14:22 Holly Mackay
You know they have their own emotions.
That they're dealing with and so it's really important to get somebody objective on board, even if it's.
For that one off conversation.
00:14:31 Vernon Kay
Yeah, a neutral perspective.
00:14:35 Holly Mackay
And Paula, I think this might be a slightly odd question to put to a barrister but.
00:14:38 Holly Mackay
Do you think?
00:14:39 Holly Mackay
That people have to assume if they're getting divorced, but they need to go and talk to a lawyer at all. Having been through the process, it did get to a point where I just wanted cool time out. Because I thought that every squabble, we had just paid for my barrister's next skiing holiday.
00:14:59 Vernon Kay
And you were divorcing barrister?
Yeah, it's only so it's so true and this is exactly what I was saying. To the client yesterday because I'm not only am I a barrister of 20 odd years, but I also mediate, and I've been meeting for the last 7 or 8 years or so and the reason why I took that shift is because it's not my job to solve your problems. It's my job to argue about your problems that's essentially it as a barrister, I get paid to argue I get paid to find problems and to find weaknesses in the other side case now. The other side is somebody and forgive me for being so Frank for somebody that you had loved.
For 5 years, for 10 years, or 15 years. Somebody that you loved.
So surely even.
Though there is hurt and there is pain.
There is something that you shared.
That was special together and.
That something is going to help you.
Come away from this awful situation, but we both you respect intact and probably a little bit more money in the bank account.
00:16:09 Vernon Kay
Paula is there such thing as a clean break?
00:16:12 Vernon Kay
emotionally and financially and physically.
Yes, but then you have to ask me that time frame. You have to ask about time frame.
00:16:23 Vernon Kay
What's the time frame for a clean break?
00:16:28 Vernon Kay
I'm not asking because I want to know.
00:16:30 Vernon Kay
I'm asking because I think it I think.
00:16:32 Vernon Kay
It's it's important we established the process because, you know, we talked about Holly and I have talked about the fact that 2020. It has been a real.
00:16:40 Vernon Kay
Kick in the proverbials for a lot of people relationship wise you know I've realised I've got to spend time with this person is not the person that I married and so things have changed because work has got in the way of our daily routine. Anna relationship with that separation and Holly and I was speaking but I think it's a good thing for girls to have a girls weekend and guys have a guys weekend.
00:17:02 Vernon Kay
So because you're so emotionally and physically attached, that's why I ask, is there such thing as a clean break?
And that's why I say I say yes, but then give yourself time. I think people think that once they get the divorce through once they get that decree absolute or even once the case is finished.
That suddenly it means, but that's it.
But it doesn't.
I'm saying this coz I wanna make your heart smile Holly but lots of people remarry and most people remarry the same person again.
Do you know what I mean? Give yourself a chance and don't don't think.
00:17:51 Vernon Kay
Holly married a guy called Gordans and he showed that he is very green.
00:17:56 Holly Mackay
00:17:56 Vernon Kay
Quite tall at times.
Bombay actually, Mr Saphire.
00:18:01 Speaker 4
Yeah, yeah, hold up?
The remarriage, people talk about the divorce rate.
Paula But I actually like to talk about the people who remarry because they do, you know they do and then not put off by the divorce, however fraught and awful it is. And because sometimes it is no. Sometimes I'm not always smiling. Sometimes I can be a little bit mean an app, but they do and I think that's something to celebrate because getting a divorce as I said it, you don't wake up one morning. And say I'm going to get a divorce.
It takes years you you kind of you.
Know that the problems are there.
I can't find you; you know.
00:18:42 Vernon Kay
I can't imagine, I can't imagine Paula. I mean maybe it is a good sign, but I can't imagine emotionally separated myself from my wife because I feel she's ingrained in me. But in a good way, do you know what I mean?
00:18:54 Holly Mackay
But what Paula says it does.
00:18:56 Holly Mackay
Resonate so much with me Paula, that it just from that sort of seed of initial doubt to getting the final paperwork through? I mean takes.
00:19:08 Holly Mackay
Four, five years, you know, possibly the only.
00:19:12 Vernon Kay
Thing that is a burden that is with you everyday?
00:19:16 Holly Mackay
From what it is.
00:19:17 Vernon Kay
The more experience.
00:19:18 Vernon Kay
Before 2 professional people with busy lives, you've got kids as well. So through the emotion of separated in the mix, that's that's a tough daily schedule.
00:19:28 Holly Mackay
But it was the.
00:19:29 Holly Mackay
Kids thing, I think that that made it.
00:19:33 Holly Mackay
Hard, because of course until you know.
00:19:37 Holly Mackay
That divorce is the outcome. It's not clear at the outset that that's that's going to be the outcome. You protect them from it and you shield them from it, and it's it's incredibly sensitive thing to talk to children about and pull up. Be interested in your views for based on. I know you're not there to sit in judgement of people, but based on what you see today.
00:20:00 Holly Mackay
From splitting sort of family units, what would you save for the people listening who are thinking that sort of divorce is another inevitable path? Who are parents you know, based on what you see? What are some of the mistakes that we all make? Or what are just some of the things?
00:20:17 Holly Mackay
To be aware of.
Yes, yes, that's really good question Holly.
So the major mistake that I see and your and you're going to want to throw one of those beautiful potted plants at me when I say them.
The major mistake that I see is when you get to the situation that you are now trying to decide how to divide the assets of the marriage and believe it or not. I have seen people spend years.
Fighting over money to the extent.
That they watch the pot reduce and they watch it going to the lawyers, but that pride and that was one of the words that was usually over my dead body, will I let?
Him, her, have that.
And that's the biggest mistake that I see, because if you become involved in that level of over, my dead body, is he gonna get that over my dead body? Do you know I sent 10 years working for that? Once you start getting involved in that Level?
Of distress because that's what you are. You distressed your grieving for the end of this relationship you're fearful about what's happening in the future, and so you're trying your best to cling on, like literally, cling onto whatever it is you have spent those 10 years. I get that.
But it doesn't help you. It doesn't help you, and it doesn't help the children.
And if I could take?
My clients sometimes and say to them.
I get you love.
The painting and I get you love the coffee table or whatever it is. I don't mean to patronise you. When I when I say that whatever it is that you're holding onto.
Understand that it's not going to help you move forward.
And and and it's easy for me to say that.
Because it's not my love that is tide up with whatever it is. So, I you know, I get that.
But you do need to let it go, whatever it is that thing is, you need to let it go because the judge isn't going to be interested. Let me tell you that now the judge is not interested in whatever it is you lost in love with. Judge only wants to know about it.
00:22:53 Holly Mackay
So true, I am going into the family court, which I found an utterly awful and sobering experience in many ways.
00:23:03 Holly Mackay
But I think there is a sense that you're going to have your Ally Mcbeal moment and the judge is going to sort of look at you and go, you are right, your ex husband is a real plonker and of course it doesn't happen like that because an it shouldn't be and one thing I did actually come out of a family court which was a bit of a sense of shame. Shame that I was taking up a judges time with some squabbles that frankly my ex husband and I could have worked out between ourselves when there were more important cases.
00:23:34 Holly Mackay
And children who needed help and it was a bit of a lesson actually. Just as you say, swallow any pride and just say d'you know what we're being idiots. Let's just sort it out.
Do an I wouldn't.
Even be that hard because what people don't understand.
Is that they are grieving.
They are going through a grieving process, even when. Even when you.
00:23:57 Vernon Kay
It’s a loss isn't it.
Absolutely. And even when you're the one.
Who's asked for the divorce.
Even when you are the one who said I can't do this anymore. You are still grieving because you're an this hard for the other person took to acknowledge that right because they're like why you do this. To me this is awful. We built all of this, happened to us, but even when you're the one who asked for it, you are in a position where you are torn. I want to leave, I'm unhappy but I don't wanna upset this person. I don't want to upset the children or whether our friends and say or are parents going to say, you know.
It's all these other competing things going on.
But ultimately, we are all in this position where our emotions are taking over. Now I love emotions.
I genuinely genuinely do.
But when you make a decision which has been driven by your emotion because it has your unhappy, you're not in love anymore, you know whatever it is. You then have to have faith in yourself that you have made that right decision.
And you have to have faith in yourself that you are going to be able to see that decision through. And that's where divorced comes hard. And that's where people start focusing on the car or the yacht, or the painting. Or this is an.
00:25:15 Vernon Kay
B***** hell, what clients do you look afetr?
00:25:21 Vernon Kay
00:25:25 Holly Mackay
I forgot about the yacht, must be parked somewhere.
00:25:28 Vernon Kay
You could have said Kayak.
You know people are doing that because they don't want to at 3:00 AM in the morning, look in the mirror and see what's really going on and it's at their hurt and that you know and and and so that Holly to answer your question is what I tried to get across to people is accept that you're in pain cry about the pain, feel the pain. It's awful, but.
Feel it and then tomorrow come and talk to me about what you wanna do.
About the kayak.
The two different things, but that easily confused lated when you're upset.
00:26:13 Vernon Kay
Yeah. I think we should leave it there.
00:26:19 Holly Mackay
Wise words. I wish I'd met you seven years ago.
00:26:21 Vernon Kay
00:26:25 Vernon Kay
Paula that was really enlightening, and I hope that anyone listening to this podcast found that enlightening as well because it's open my eyes and I think collectively we’ve raised some really interesting points. And if we can help anyone.
00:26:36 Vernon Kay
Anyway, shape or form. Then we've done a good job and just quickly Paula and I mean just quickly. There must be somewhere that people can get advice from when it comes to relationship counselling or they decided to get divorced. Is there any public forum any government website anywhere where we can get advice from when it comes to this kind of sticky situation?
The definitely go on the gov.uk website. That's the government websites fantastic also try your local council website. They're really good for offering access to local and counselling services, etcetera. That won't cost you the earth.
I mean if that doesn't help, ask your solicitor or your barrister. They will be able.
To connect you with people.
And then trust, trust google.
Put in, you know divorce councillor are there lots of divorce councillors out there who can assist.
00:27:29 Vernon Kay
Brilliant. Thank you very much.
00:27:30 Vernon Kay
Yeah, awesome Paula, I hope I never see you again.
00:27:35 Vernon Kay
Well, it's been an absolute joy. Thank you so much and who knows? Thank you.
00:27:39 Holly Mackay
Thank you so much guys, thank you.
00:27:44 Vernon Kay
How good was Paula? I could chat to it all day. She's got her own podcast out now too. It's called the Family Court of Father's journey. So if you were interested in our conversation and it does strike a chord with you, then it's definitely worth checking out.
00:28:01 Holly Mackay
Yeah yeah, so interesting to hear from Paula such such an important topic for so.
00:28:06 Holly Mackay
Many parents, right? It's now that time of the podcast where we move on to some questions from you guys. Our listeners are fellow parents and let's have the first one please now my child's moved out. I'm worried about losing a connexion with them. Have you got any advice?
00:28:21 Vernon Kay
Yes, the advice is really simple. You have to communicate, but the practicality of it is rather difficult because we forget, and I think that's the worst thing that you could do as a child is forgetting to call your parents because I know I've done it and I do it and I did it and I've done it on a regular basis.
00:28:40 Vernon Kay
And it does ruffle a few feathers at home, because let's be honest, when you when you flee the nest, you just get on with your life, you know and you don't realise that the paternal instinct inside you as a parent remains there forever and ever and ever. So I think the key to this is you have to promise each other that you will communicate on a regular basis and that in my opinion is the only answer is be true to yourselves.
00:29:05 Vernon Kay
And try not to forget each other. Parents you gotta ring your kids kids you gotta ring your mums and dads or your guardians and you've just got to stay on the end of the phone. Even if it's just once a week. Even if it's just once a week. It really really makes a massive difference. Okay then, let's move on next question please.
How do I introduce my children to my new partner?
00:29:25 Holly Mackay
Yeah, I've been done that limitation on this one.
00:29:30 Holly Mackay
I think having been through the experience, it is quite terrifying, by the way, when you get introduced, you know because kids don't lie do they. And you get these beaded little eyes sort of checking you out suspiciously. Who is this new person? And I think my advice would be don't rush it and don't set it up to be really high pressure. Don't have really high expectations. Keep it really casual. Keep it brief, keep it somewhere neutral.
00:30:00 Holly Mackay
And don't invest a whole heap of emotional energy and it make it just to run around apart. Keep it low key, keep it informal, it will evolve and happen overtime. So just try and relax and don't force it. It will be as a grown up one of the scariest things you've done for a while I should think.
00:30:22 Vernon Kay
Alright, thank you Holly next question please.
00:30:24 Speaker 6
Feel like the Covid lockdown has ruined my relationship with my kids. They hated being stuck at home with me and not being able to go out.
00:30:32 Vernon Kay
So I think this resonates with everyone. It really does. I mean, let's be honest.
00:30:38 Vernon Kay
Okay, we are an honest and open podcast. We've established that Covid has been difficult. It's been difficult for everyone, whether your child or whether your apparent, whether you're single, whether you're together. Whether you're you've got one kid or whether you've got several kids, it doesn't matter. Whatever elements you put into the equation.
00:31:02 Vernon Kay
Of covid and lockdown, it's been awful for everyone. It really has. I know that in the third lockdown our kids found it really difficult because it was going to. It was going dark when they finished school, so they finished school at four. It was already pitch black. It was cold, frosty sometimes snowy, wet outside, nothing for them to do outdoors, which is a nightmare. So, the only thing and we've talked about this in the past. The goal too is to grab their digital device and sit with their heads down getting neck ache and frustrated that they are not building whatever they should be building on Minecraft.
00:31:38 Vernon Kay
And parents get a little bit frustrated at their kids.
00:31:39 Holly Mackay
00:31:41 Vernon Kay
I know and their kids aren't being active and they're not running around, it's just it's been tough. It really has been tough, but what we tried to do what we tried to do was try to interact with each other by playing games. You know on a digital device I hold my hands up. We played games together on a digital device, but it's the only way sometimes that you can have conversations and have fun is all set with a tablet. We play a game called Drawful where everyone it's a little bit like Pictionary where everyone draws.
00:32:12 Vernon Kay
A picture on their tablet and everyone else has to guess what it is.
00:32:15 Vernon Kay
You know we played Uno. We played hide and seek, hide and seek in the dark. We've done all those games just to try and keep that family unit together and tight and also a lot of communication is key in my opinion.
00:32:29 Holly Mackay
But they missed their friends don't they, particularly in the third lockdown, as you say, I've just been honest with my kids as well, you know, I Vern and I don't know about you. I hate being stuck at home and I wanna go out and see my friends do, and I think it's just being really honest with them about that. And every single person I know.
00:32:50 Holly Mackay
Has seen far too much of their family full stop over immediate family. I'm talking about over the last 12 months and I think it is just sort of being honest about that and remembering. Hopefully fingers crossed everything I own cross that this is, you know, the third lockdown when that ends and will be back in. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but I think just being honest too and you know telling them that. Actually, yeah mummy’s sick to the back teeth of this too and I miss my friends as well.
00:33:23 Vernon Kay
Yes, no good point. It's a really good point and I think you know being open and honest, sometimes we find it difficult, but it's a. It's an essential in in any family unit you know to just say okay, deep breath. I'm going to say it kids. I'm finding this really hard because I know you are and it's doing my head in these four walls but you know it. I guess it would make a difference. Huge difference.
00:33:47 Vernon Kay
All right everyone. I really hope you know what time of the show it is by now we are at Episode 6 so come on Holly put us out of our misery.
00:33:54 Holly Mackay
Time for our resident expert, Mr Alistair McQueen from Aviva, who has another three top tips for us now. Today's episode, of course, is being all about the changing family unit, so here are Alister's tips for dealing with divorce. Wait for it. Your pension.
00:34:13 Alistair McQueen
Hi everybody, my name is Alistair McLean and I'm the head of savings and retirement. Aviva and here are my top 3 tips for today.
00:34:23 Alistair McQueen
Figures from the office for National Statistics report that over 45s now represent the biggest age group opposite sex divorcees in England and Wales, for the first time since records began in 1950. Across all ages the average age of divorce is at record high of more than 47 for men and more than 45 for women. The ongoing increase in silver divorces has significant implications for retirement planning.
00:34:51 Alistair McQueen
Property and pensions typically represent our biggest sources of financial wealth as weeds and value for Paige and typically rises two, making it one of the most valuable assets that couples possess. To my top three tips for navigating, pensions and divorce would be first. If you are getting divorced, give your pension some serious consideration.
00:35:12 Alistair McQueen
For many people, pigeon may not seem real until we reach retirement, but they are very real throughout your working life and your money belongs to you along with property. A pension is often the biggest source of someone's wealth. Don't worry if you're confused by pensions, you're not alone. Thankfully, there's lots of free help available. Second, if you are getting divorced, there are two main approaches to handling your pension, wealth first, pension sharing. This is where one party is a percentage share of anyone or more.
00:35:45 Alistair McQueen
Of the other parties, pensions and 2nd pension offsetting.
00:35:49 Alistair McQueen
This is where the value of any pension Ralph is offset against other assets. For example, one party may get a bigger share of the family home in return for the other party keeping their pension wealth. However, both routes there are still a number of issues that can occur, so it's important the individual considering divorce seek legal and financial support concerning pension wealth during the process.
00:36:15 Alistair McQueen
And 3rd, if you are getting divorced, get free help. The pension advisory Service is a free service backed by the government and the offer. Free one to one pensions consultation, including guidance about divorce. We won't tell you what to do, but they will help you understand your options. This can be a good step before paying for professional advice.
00:36:37 Alistair McQueen
Find the Pensions Advisory Service on the Internet pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk. And search the Internet for Aviva and divorce. Will find a number of articles from the verse on this important topic.
Back to you guys.
00:36:50 Vernon Kay
Thank you Alistair and also thank you to you for listening. We're rounding off the season of parenting past the pandemic and tell you what it's gone so quickly.
00:36:58 Holly Mackay
It certainly has Vernon. It's been some of the most interesting conversations I've had throughout this lockdown period, you know, so many great guests. Interesting conversation.
00:37:08 Holly Mackay
So much for us to take away. If though you do want more, there's plenty of additional information on the website, so just hit the link in the podcast description or head to aviva.co.uk/parenting-past-the-pandemic.
00:37:24 Vernon Kay
And if U just found us, where have you been come on? Ask yourself that question but don't worry, don't worry, there are five more episodes to go back to and listen to, but for now from me Vernon Kay bye.
00:37:34 Holly Mackay
00:37:37 Vernon Kay
This podcast is brought to you by Aviva Checkout aviva.co.uk for more details. Aviva is with you today for a better tomorrow.