It has been reported that Brian Philcox, who killed himself and his two children Amy, 7, and Owen, 3, on father's day was going through an acrimonious divorce. Thankfully, I have never had anything remotely like this occur in any case I have dealt with, but reading reports of such events always makes me wonder if there would be any warning signs that could give a lawyer (or any other professional involved in the case) an opportunity to prevent a tragedy.
Thanks to Divorce Survivor for pointing out this article, that appeared in the Guardian in November 2006, discussing the issue of parents who kill their children (known in America by the chilling name of 'family annihilators'). It seems that there are some typical aspects to such crimes, for example most fathers kill out of revenge and most mothers as a result of mental illness, and that there are warning signs that a psychologist would spot. Depressingly, however, expert opinion is that prevention is an almost impossible task.