Relationship Wisdom

Politics of Relationships

by Sheela Mackintosh

Like many professional working mothers today faced with the familiar dilemma of juggling motherhood and a demanding job, lawyer Sheela Mackintosh decided on balance that that she didn’t want to be a ‘supermum’. Instead she wanted to continue wanting the challenge and independence of work without compromising her role as a mother of two young children. She hit upon the idea of Divorce & Family Law Information Service, because it fills a huge necessary gap in the market and allowed her to work while the children are at school.

Divorce& Family Law Information Service is a unique consultation service. Sheela is a matrimonial consultant with extensive family law experience. She started her career as a barrister which was she says ‘intellectually challenging’ but re-trained as a solicitor to have more hands-on contact with people. After working in the City she became partner in a London firm specializing in family law. “During my time in private practice, I observed that many clients often had little or no idea of what divorce involved or its repercussions on the family, before embarking on it, and found themselves on the expensive path of divorce and then regretting it. Unfortunately, once on that path, it is difficult to halt the proceedings.’’

Statistically “one in three marriages in the UK end in divorce’’, and Sheela feel strongly that it is vital for people to be better informed of their rights, options and consequences at the outset, so that they can either prepare for divorce in a more considered manner, and so save on crippling legal costs, or they might seriously reconsider whether divorce is indeed the right way forward.

In short, Sheela offers an alternative to the traditional route of seeing a solicitor when there is relationship or marital strife. As one of her clients put it, ‘‘I was clueless about divorce or who to turn to and Sheela has helped me to understand where I stand but also the full implications, for the sake of my children’’. No doubt we all have friends asking you who, where and how to get help, as they fumble through the yellow pages desperately trying to find the right help.

Interestingly, from her experience Sheela has discovered that, more often than not, people really just need a vital perspective and insight into the consequences of marital and relationship break-ups, before deciding to take that step. Sheela says ‘I provide that important perspective by giving relevant legal and practical information specifically ‘tailormade’ to each person’s own personal situation, as family law is complex and each case very much depends on its own facts’.

Those who decide that divorce or leaving a relationship is the only way forward and decide to involve solicitors in the proceedings, will also undoubtedly benefit from seeing Sheela. Sheela offers a good and clear insight, giving guidance on the difficult decision-making on the way forward eg exploring the possibility of negotiating amicably without involving solicitors and saving legal costs in the long run.

A client of Sheela’s who subsequently decided to use a solicitor for her divorce proceedings said ‘‘I am so glad I saw Sheela first because after talking to her, I felt a lot stronger mentally, emotionally and also physically about dealing with my marriage problems. My solicitor did not give me such a detailed explanation or analysis as Sheela did. Sheela gave me the vital perspective I needed by explaining clearly and in very simple terms, to me, so utterly crucial when one is going through this very traumatic time’’

As a client has put succinctly ‘‘Sheela provides a full ‘birds eye view’ of what divorce entails and she is essentially a user-friendly walking encyclopaedia on the subject’’.

Divorce& Family Law Information Service also extends to cohabiting couples, with or without children, who do not enjoy the same legal rights as a married person.

Another important feature of Divorce& Family Law Information Service includes helping clients identify and obtain other forms of alternative help. ‘‘Clients undergoing great emotional crisis and trauma often cannot always be objective and can at times fail to identify what non-legal help is needed to repair a marriage or improve matters for the family as a whole’ says Sheela. Sheela helps to give clients an objective and independent viewpoint, in areas of their marriage which may need to be addressed. She therefore recommends and refers clients to reputable solicitors and mediators if they decide to go ahead with a divorce, but also to reputable sources of other expert help eg, child psychologists, etc’’.

Sheela’s clients say that they have benefited hugely from using Divorce& Family Law Information Service . ‘‘Sheela is very approachable, with great bedside manner and it is so refreshing to meet her because she is reaching out to help me. I felt very comfortable talking to her about the problems in my marriage which I have not found easy to talk about,’ says another grateful client.

For more information on Divorce& Family Law Information Service , you can visit the . To contact Sheela Mackintosh, you can email her at or contact her on 07799550036.

New Year strife?

The New Year is a busy time for family lawyers and 7 January has been dubbed ‘D-Day’, the busiest day of the year for divorce lawyers after the Christmas holidays which can bring great marital strife to many.

Statistically, 500 divorces happen every day in the UK. Most involve conflict, and acrimony. Having witnessed this when practicing as a family lawyer in London, I now champion an amicable and practical strategy for handling every aspect of break-up.

Divorce is life changing. Those contemplating break-up should consider reconciliation through counselling or mediation or a trial separation period.

If divorce is the only ‘way out’, then there are 5 options:

  1. Mediation
  2. Collaborative family law
  3. Instruct a solicitor. This traditional, adversarial method means solicitors take charge of and negotiate settlement for you. This can involve crippling legal costs.
  4. Do-it-yourself. Inadvisable, as family law is complex and there is a danger of getting it wrong.
  5. Working in partnership with someone like me, to enable you to personally conduct your divorce. I guide you through the family law minefield and achieve a fair and amicable divorce settlement.

Knowledge gives you power. Before taking the first step, you MUST plan and be prepared. I help you by giving YOU:

  • Knowledge of what divorce involves before you plunge i.e. practical, legal financial and emotional issues;
  • Tailor-made solutions to all issues surrounding break-up;
  • A strategic plan for divorce and tools to negotiate a full settlement on children and financial issues, with the minimum of conflict to create a ‘happier’ and better outcome for the family as a whole;
  • Control; helping you deal with your divorce within the law and at a huge cost saving.

I also work with cohabiting couples (i.e. non-married couples), who do not enjoy the same legal rights as a married person and also ‘audit’ cases where people are unhappy with their solicitors.

‘Thank God I saw Sheela at the outset of my divorce. Her clear insight and guidance on difficult issues and help with negotiating the amicable settlement was empowering and was exactly what I needed. She gave me a full ‘birds eye view’ of divorce and such a user-friendly walking encyclopaedia on the subject’’ says Joe Marciano, a grateful client.

About Sheela Mackintosh

Sheela qualified as a barrister and solicitor and practiced law in Central London. She now runs an independent matrimonial consultancy service, Divorce & Family Law Information Service and can be reached on:

Tel: 01494 681279 • Mobile: + 44 7799550036 • Email: • Website:

How happy are you in your relationship?

  • On a scale of 1-10, how do you rate your relationship?
  • Do you aspire to have a better and stronger relationship but don’t know how to do it?
  • What is life without love and happy relationships? We aspire to have happy relationships. A good relationship is a huge accomplishment. But not all of us are lucky enough to have it.

Why is that?

  • Is it a formula we need to crack?
  • Is it luck?
  • Are we clueless about maintaining and strengthening our relationships as so much of our relationship happens by trial and error?
  • Are some of us better judges and choose partners wisely?
  • Do we know who or what we really want?
  • Do we escape from our relationships at the first few bumps on the road?

Or is it because some of us are smarter and better at having good relationship because we have acquired the right skills and knowledge through watching our parents, relatives, friends do it right?

There is much we need to know and learn about choosing the right person and staying in a relationship. But often, we don’t realise what we need to know and so we don’t realise what we need to learn, know or ask.


  • There is no such thing as a perfect partner.
  • Good relationships don’t just happen automatically.
  • You need to create a life you love; that involves work, compromise, tolerance, acceptance and a whole lot more.
  • If you get it right, the rewards of a good relationship is something you already know.


I have seen many unnecessary break-ups which could have been avoided with good strategies & know-how. Much of our relationship success happens by trial and error as we have never been taught how to do it right. Today relationships face many challenges.

No one is immune from relationship break-up.

Take heart

It is never too late to start refreshing your relationships. Small interventions now can make long term differences.

So join me now, and together let us help each other to have better relationships.