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Police Targeting Drink Driving at Christmas

Olivia Peck
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The Christmas season is coming... As the Christmas season approaches the party season gets underway. You may see Christmas drink drive campaigns starting to appear from local police forces, which will mean that once again police will be targeting drink...

The Importance of Making an LPA

Jessica  Latimer
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In a recent study sent to the Ministry of Justice it has found that during the pandemic there has been a significant reduction (26.5%) in the registration of LPAs for both Health and Care and Property and Finances. This statistic is of concern, bearing in...

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

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Thursday 25 th November 2021 marks the launch of the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, consisting of 16 days of activism across the UN and concluding on 10 th December, which will be International Human Rights Day. This campaign, led by the UN...

What is a Life Interest Trust

Jessica  Latimer
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A Life Interest Trust is created by a Will and is commonly used by married couples as a way of protecting each other’s respective share of the property on first death. Situations where this may be appropriate are where there are children from previous...

Time limit for charges for Common Assault

Rhian Williams
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There is currently a six-month time limit for a charge to be brought against someone for common assault. The BBC recently revealed that 13,000 cases in England and Wales have been dropped in the last 5 years, due to exceeding the time limit. Currently,...

What can I expect when I start divorce proceedings?

Laura Cotton
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Deciding to start divorce proceedings can be a very overwhelming experience and you can often not know where to start. The following article explores the different steps involved in the divorce procedure and provides assistance on the process. Provided that...

Social Services have asked me to sign and adhere to a Written Agreement and Safety plan, should I sign?

Chelsea  Harris
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Written agreements and safety plans are intended to provide clarity about the way that the Local Authority and your family will work together to ensure that your children remain safe whilst in your care. A safety plan is usually a personalised document that...

What is a Residential Assessment Unit?

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Where concerns have been raised about a parent’s ability to provide safe care for their child, a residential assessment may be considered as opposed to a community-based assessment to assess if they can parent the child safely and appropriately with...

World Mental Health Day

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10 th October 2021 – World Mental Health Day. #pinitforformentalhealth Mental health is something that people are often scared to talk about or feel silly for doing so. This should never be the case. The conversation around mental health is always...

Land Registry Update 2021 - The Future

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This year HM Land Registry have introduced several innovative improvements to the registration and application process with a view to adjust and adapt to become more accessible to the public. This is mainly due to the need of the conveyancing process to be...

I only threatened to share the image - I didn't actually do it - why do I have to go to Court?

Zara Cowan
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Many will know it is already an offence to disclose a private sexual film or photograph in which another person appears without the consent of that person. Earlier this year and because of the Domestic Abuse Bill, a new offence has been created under...

Change in Court fees

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Generally, when an application is made to the Court a Court fee is required. As of 30 th September 2021, the HMCTS have raised their Court fees in respect of Family matters. Therefore, the Court fees are now: Divorce Petition       ...

Having a drink whilst out on your Scooter, think again....

Olivia Peck
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Owning an E-Scooter legally is currently difficult, as there are strict rules on any privately owned E-Scooter to be used lawfully on a road or public place. The rider must have insurance, licence, safety equipment and vehicle tax. The Law E-Scooters are...

Special Guardianship Order and Care Order - Can they Co-Exist?

Julia Shaikh
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In the recent case of F v G [2021] EWCA Civ 622, The Court of Appeal granted leave to appeal to the mother, who argued that Special Guardianship Orders and Care Orders could not co-exist. This case was in relation to twin girls F and G. Prior to their...

Independent research recommends Care Services are in urgent need of investment and reform.

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The Case for Change, an Independent Review of Children’s Social Care Report investigated Child Protection Services in England. According to a BBC News article written by Alison Holt Social Affairs Correspondent (June 2021) the system is under...

How to get the most from your Lifetime ISA account

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A lifetime ISA (LISA) is a savings account whereby you can save to help contribute to your first house purchase or to be used at the point of which you retire. It can be opened by anyone in the UK as long as you are between the ages of 18 and 39. This is a...

I have been told by the social worker that my care of my child has to be supervised. What does this mean?

Jasmine Lees
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Where the Local Authority have concerns about a person’s care of a child, they may commission various assessments of the person’s ability to care for them. The concerns may arise as a result of an injury to the child, the carer’s mental...

How can I assist a family member/friend who has lost capacity and is now unable to manage their finances?

Jessica  Latimer
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Where a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) for someone’s property and finances has not been put in place prior to a loved one losing mental capacity, Deputyship may need to be applied for, to manage their affairs...

My child is in care and I want more contact

Julia Shaikh
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Local Authorities have a duty to promote contact between a child in their care and the relevant parties under Section 34 of the Children Act 1989 – unless it is not reasonably practical or consistent with the child’s welfare. If your child is...

Can I take my child on holiday if the other parent does not consent?

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Now that the national lockdown has lifted and the possibility of international travel is an increasingly more viable option, many will be looking to get away and go abroad for some proper summer sun. Issues often arise when parents are separated and one...

Do I need a Consent Order?

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We are often asked if a Consent Order is needed in divorce proceedings the answer is yes, it is advisable and recommended.  A Consent Order is a document that is entered into willingly by both parties and it records the financial terms agreed...

What can I do if my spouse doesn't respond to my divorce papers?

Laura Cotton
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When the Petitioner makes an application for a divorce, the spouse, known as the Respondent, is sent a copy of the application along with a form to complete called an Acknowledgement of Service (AOS). They are required to complete the AOS, which acknowledges...

What if your caught in charge of your motor vehicle whilst over the prescribed limit?

Olivia Peck
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With restrictions lifting there is an increase in drink driving offences , not only can you find yourself arrested for an offence of driving a motor vehicle whilst over the prescribed limited but also if you are found to be drunk in charge of a motor...

What do Social Services mean when they say my child is at risk of harm?

Chelsea  Harris
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There are 4 main types of Harm that the Social Services may think your child is at risk of suffering or is already suffering. These 4 types are: Emotional harm, Physical harm, Sexual harm and Neglect. Your child can be referred to Social Services through a...

Will my baby be removed from me at birth?

Jasmine Lees
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A recent study by Nuffield Family Justice Observatory found that the number of care proceedings in England which involved newborn babies increased by 20%. Between 2012 and 2020, the number of newborn babies subject to care proceedings rose from 2425 to...

It's coming home. Oh no, sorry, it's not

Rhian Williams
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It’s not coming home and I wish you weren’t either. Euros 2020. The highlight of year. Gareth Southgate leading our boys in white to the final. 120 minutes of white-knuckle entertainment, to see Italy win at the final hurdle. Unlucky. Unluckier...

Covid-19: What if parents cannot agree on vaccinating their child?

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The decision as to whether to order the vaccination of a child has been an issue for the Courts for many years before the existence of the Covid-19 virus. Now that the roll-out of the vaccines for the virus have been a success in respect of adults, the...

How long will my information stay on Police Record?

Zara Cowan
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The Police National Computer (PNC) holds all records of arrests and summons, regardless of the outcome, and is kept until the individual is 100 years old. DNA samples/profiles and fingerprints can be taken and retained as set out in the Police and...

What is a Section 7 Report?

Laura Cotton
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A Section 7 report is a report prepared by CAFCASS or a social worker from the Local Authority (Social Services) in cases where an application has been made to the Court under Section 8 of The Children Act 1989. A Section 7 report may be required in cases...

Breathing Space: what is it and how does it affect my ability to recover a debt? Will it apply to rental arrears owed by a Tenant?

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What is ‘Breathing Space’? Breathing Space is a newly established Debt Respite Scheme, that  will give an individual who is in debt the right to legal protections from being chased by creditors. The scheme applies to the rental sector and...

Failing to provide a breath specimen the consequences

Olivia Peck
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The police can request a specimen of breath when they have reasonable grounds to suspect that you were driving, attempted to drive or drunk in charge of a vehicle where alcohol or drugs have been consumed. It is a criminal offence to refuse to provide a...

Important Things to Remember After You Move Home

Jade Sansoye
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The process of moving home can be exhausting and exciting all at the same time. However, once you have received the keys to the property there is still some important work that needs to carried out to the property. You will need to hold back on opening that...

Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common, what is right for you?

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Buying a home with your partner or family member is an exciting and a life changing experience. It is therefore to know the different forms of legal ownership and to understand how they both work before you make an informed decision. Joint Tenants Joint...

'The Big Ask' Survey - Children in England to have their say on Childhood

Julia Shaikh
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From April to May 2021, millions of children in England told the Government what their childhoods should look like in the largest consultation undertaken in England. ‘The Big Ask’ survey was led by the Children’s Commissioner for England,...

Does the Human Rights Act 1998 protect parents in Care Proceedings

Chelsea  Harris
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The protection of your Human Rights is vital in all aspects of the Law. Article 8 of the Human Rights Act provides that everyone has the right to respect for private and family life. How is this right maintained in Care Proceedings for parents where the...

What will happen if I run away with my child to avoid Social Services involvement?

Jasmine Lees
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When the Local Authority become involved due to concerns regarding a parent’s care of a child / children , it can be a very challenging time for the family. Many people feel that they wish to escape so that they do not have to deal with any...

The Local Authority has applied to the Court for a Care Order - but what is it?

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What is a Care Order in my Care Proceedings case? A care order gives the local authority parental responsibility for the child . The court may make an interim care order so that arrangements can be made to look after the child until the court makes a...

How can someone find my Will after I die?

Jessica  Latimer
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You may choose to share the location of your Will with your family members or perhaps you keep a good record in your files. However, family members may not remember what you have told them or are not sure where to look when they need to find your Will. ...

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021

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Following agreement by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords on its text, the Domestic Abuse Bill received Royal Assent on 29 th April 2021, meaning that it is now an Act of Parliament and therefore, law. The aims of the Act were to make...

Revocation of driving licence for new drivers

Olivia Peck
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As a new driver your licence is particularly important to you, however are you aware that your driving licence is automatically revoked by the DVLA, if you build up six or more  penalty points  within two years of passing your first driving test? ...

What is involved in selling my property?

Jade Sansoye
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A sale transaction may sound simple and straightforward but there is a lot of work that needs to be carried out by Solicitors. Sale transactions can easily become complicated or prolonged. Not all transactions are the same and this is due to various reasons...

Mental Health Awareness Month

Gemma Curtis
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The week commencing 10 th May is mental health awareness week. Having lived through the period of Covid-19 and Lockdown, mental health has become more openly discussed and we are being urged to take care of our mental health as well as our physical health. ...

How do I complete a Form E?

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When you are going through a separation, your first thought might be to start divorce proceedings, but it is important to try and reach an agreement in relation to the finances at the same time. This can take some time as there are many things you will need...

I want to recover possession of property that I rent to tenants: what do I need to do? How is the process affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Laura  Anderson
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A landlord that lets residential property under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) needs to give their tenant notice if they want them to leave. If the tenant doesn’t move out, the landlord needs to apply for a Possession Order, that will specify a...

What can I expect if I apply for a Child Arrangements Order?

Laura Cotton
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It is common that when a relationship breaks down, conversations need to be had about the arrangements for the children to be able to spend time with both parents. It is always best if parents can reach an agreement between themselves in an attempt to ensure...

Getting the most from your Help to Buy ISA account

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The government closed access to new help to buy ISA accounts from 30 th November 2019 and onwards. If you were fortunate enough to have opened a help to buy ISA prior to this date this guide will be useful to help you optimise the account for buying your...

IS IT A LEGAL REQUIREMENT FOR LANDLORDS TO HAVE THE ELECTRICS TESTED WHEN RENTING OUT A RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY?

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As of 1 st April 2021, new electrical regulations came into force requiring Landlords to arrange an inspection and to supply an electrical safety certificate for all privately rented properties. What are the Regulations? The electrical inspections must...

Special Guardianship - An Agenda for Change

Julia Shaikh
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In August and November 2019, I wrote articles considering whether Special Guardianship Orders required reform. The case of Re P-S (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 1407  spurred the need for change. Developments continue within this area of law....

Care Proceedings are lasting longer in Court due to COVID-19

Chelsea  Harris
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The duration of Care Proceedings in Court has increased since the beginning of the lockdown and has reached the longest length since the 26-week target rule was introduced in 2014, despite the number of cases being issued falling in 2019. Care Proceedings...

I have been asked to leave my family home away from partner and children by Social Services - what does this mean?

Jasmine Lees
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When the Local Authority have safeguarding concerns about a person within a household, they may ask them to leave the family home away from the children and other adults within the home to allow for various safeguarding assessments to be completed. The Local...

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