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What is a Certificate Provider in a Lasting Power of Attorney?

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What is a Certificate Provider? A Certificate Provider is a person the Donor chooses to complete the Certificate in a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) form. You can read more about the different types of Lasting Power of Attorneys (Property & Financial...

Where can I seek support for domestic abuse?

Adarsh Patel
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In the last 12 months, it is estimated that more than 800,000 children in England and Wales have lived or continue to live in an abusive home. [1] Domestic abuse and violence remains a major concern for many families and can cause social services becoming...

Role of an Independent Advocate during Care Proceedings

Isabelle Swirles
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The role of an independent advocate is to support and  assist a person to communicate their views, wishes and feelings. This may be encouraging them to voice their opinions or assisting their involvement in the court process. An independent advocate is...

What do I need to know about the offence of Intentional Strangulation?

Helen Johnson
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What is the offence of Intentional Strangulation? An offence of intentional strangulation is defined as when: A intentionally strangles another person (“B”), or A does any other act to B that –  affects B’s ability to...

Can I discharge a Care Order?

Emily Jones
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What is a Care Order? A Care Order is an Order made by the Court when the Court determines that a child is suffering or is at risk of suffering Significant Harm. When a Care Order is granted, the child is effectively placed in the care of the Local...

Do convicted paedophiles lose their parental rights?

Harriet Starkey
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Currently, parental rights are ‘absolute’ in law and can only be managed through a court order. However, a new law could mean that in the UK convicted paedophiles who are parents, would automatically lose the right to see their own children. This...

Happy 3rd Anniversary - Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

Rhian Williams
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Four years after the domestic abuse bill was first promised in the late Queen’s speech in 2017, it finally became law on the 30 th April 2021. The act further improves the effectiveness of the Justice system, providing protection for victims of...

Delays in a Property Transaction

Katelyn  Isliker
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Buying or Selling a property, may sound straightforward but it can sometimes become prolonged and complicated. Not all transactions are the same due to several reasons but here at Johnson Astills, we are here to make the journey as smooth as possible. There...

What is Civil Mediation, and how can it help me?

Tom Fletcher
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Often, court proceedings can be very costly and time-consuming, including solicitor fees, court fees and the hassle of navigating the court system. This can leave parties stressed and financially worse off. To try and minimise the court’s involvement...

What is Arbitration?

Harvey Gale
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If you have reached an impasse in respect of a family law dispute, it may be tempting to make an application to the court to resolve the matter. However, there are other forms of dispute resolution which you should consider. One such method is known as...

What is a Looked After Child Review?

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A Looked After Child Review can also be known as a LAC Review or a Statutory Review or a Review of Arrangements. This meeting includes all the people who are involved within the child’s life and discusses the child’s progress and how their needs...

What Is a Letter of Wishes?

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A Letter of Wishes is a document that can be used to guide your Executors and Trustees when managing your estate after your death. A Letters of Wishes is generally used in two circumstances: Alongside your Will – this would be a letter setting out...

What is Parental Responsibility?

Adarsh Patel
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Parental responsibility is the rights and responsibilities a parent has over their child. It simply encompasses completing the role of a parent that one would expect a parent to do. Parental responsibility is the legal term given to the legal rights and...

Can children give evidence in care proceedings?

Isabelle Swirles
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The guideline to whether children should give evidence in care proceedings is set out in the case of Re W (2010) which is now the leading authority on this issue. The considerations that are outlined in Re W in deciding whether a child should give evidence...

Neurodiversity Celebration Week

Emily Jones
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This week is Neurodiversity Celebration Week. Neurodiversity is a non-medical term used to describe a person whose brain forms, works, or functions differently to the typical brain. Some of the most common types of neurodivergence are Autistic Spectrum...

International Women's Day 2024

Katelyn  Isliker
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International Women’s Day is recognised on the 8 th March every year. This day celebrates the various achievements of women worldwide and also reminds us to continue supporting women’s equality. There are so many ways to honour women on...

'Raneem's Law'

Harriet Starkey
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The Labour Party have introduced the idea of a new law called ‘Raneem’s law’ – named after Raneem Oudeh, who was murdered at 22 years old alongside her mother Khaola Saleem. Ms Oudeh and Ms Saleem were murdered by Ms Oudeh’s...

National Conveyancing Week 2024

Ewelina Popowska
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Johnson Astills proudly supporting National Conveyancing Week for the second year running! Here at Johnson Astills, we are proud to be associated with the initiative that aims to improve the experience of home movers and professionals involved in the home...

What assessments can the Local Authority do with my family?

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Depending on what stage your case is at, the Local Authority could propose to undertake a number of different types of assessments when Social Services become involved with your family. What is a Section 47? Every child who has been referred to the...

What is a Children's Guardian?

Adarsh Patel
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When the Local Authority issue Care Proceedings to seek Public Law Orders regarding children, the subject children will be allocated a Children’s Guardian to represent their views, wishes and best interests throughout the proceedings. The Guardian is...

CONVEYANCING...hmm what in fact is it?

Ewelina Popowska
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CONVEYANCING: WHAT IS IT? Conveyancing is used to describe all the legal and administrative procedures involved in changing the ownership of land or buildings from one individual to another. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CONVEYANCING Conveyancing is an...

Drones: how to fly them safely and legally

Lucy-Ann Lee
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Did you know that if you fly or own a drone, whether it is for work or leisure it is your responsibility to make sure all flights are safe and legal. It is important you are aware of the rules and legislation that apply to your drone otherwise you may be...

Private Adoption and Donor Conception. Nothing spreads love like starting a family this Valentine's Day!

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Whilst Valentine’s Day is more commonly thought about in the context of romantic love, other types of love can be celebrated on this day. Why not celebrate familial love this Valentine’s Day by considering the ways your family can grow? Private...

Can I get Legal Aid to Contest a Special Guardianship Order?

Emily Jones
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What is a Special Guardianship Order? A Special Guardianship Order (SGO) is a long lasting, Private Law Order, made by the Family Court. The Order appoints one or more individuals to become the child’s ‘Special Guardian.’ This gives...

What is new to Family Law in 2024?

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As the new year has begun, here is what you can expect to see in the year of 2024. Media in the Family Court (The Transparency Pilot): For decades there have been calls for more transparency in Family Courts, predominantly due to Family Judges having the...

When should I raise conduct in Financial Remedy Proceedings?

Harvey Gale
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When deciding on the fairest division of the assets, the Court will take into account factors listed in section 25(2) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. One such factor is the conduct of the opposing party, but when should this be argued, and what conduct...

What is a Legacy Contact?

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A Legacy Contact is a person you can choose to access your accounts (e.g. Apple, Instagram or Facebook) after your death. This gives the nominated person access to certain elements of your account and allows them to make decisions as to what steps they take...

Why you should sort out your matrimonial finances when obtaining a divorce.

Harriet Starkey
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When a couple obtain a divorce it is important to have a Financial Order from the Court - more often than not this Order can be agreed, meaning no Court attendance or formal court application. This is necessary, even if the matrimonial finances are limited,...

Top 4 New Year Resolutions for Lawyers

Katelyn  Isliker
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1. Network The legal industry is huge and these days there are so many different kinds of events that provide the opportunity to network with different individuals, both online and in person. You can learn so many new things and they can also be quite...

Divorce Day 2024

Harvey Gale
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Family Law Practitioners receive a higher volume of calls in and around the first working days of the New Year from people deciding to take steps to end their marriage and issue a divorce application. This has led to the first working Monday of the year...

My child is in care and is having a sibling assessment, what does this mean?

Isabelle Swirles
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A sibling assessment will evaluate the bond and relationship between siblings. A sibling can be defined as a person whom you share at least one biological parent with. An assessment will consider the sibling dynamic, and the impact separation would have on...

The Statutory Legacy: What is it? And how could it affect my entitlement on an Intestacy?

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In this article we explain the concept of the statutory legacy, when it applies, and how it can impact the distribution of a deceased spouse’s/civil partner’s estate. What is Intestacy? When a person dies without a valid Will, they are said...

Drink Driving: Keep safe this Christmas

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It’s that time of year, the Christmas party season is underway which coincides with the national Christmas drink drive campaign. That means there will be more stops and more prosecutions due to an increase in police patrols dedicated to seeking out...

Navigating divorces and child arrangements over the Christmas period:

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Going through a divorce and organising child arrangements with an ex-partner can be very stressful.  However, with the festive period approaching, this stress can be exacerbated and causing this to become a very worrying time. Below are some tips to...

What if something happens after my Financial Order is approved by Court?

Harvey Gale
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Following the conclusion of financial remedy proceedings, your situation could change unexpectedly, and you may feel that had this happened during the course of the proceedings, it would have affected the outcome of those proceedings. The Courts acknowledge...

What does an Interim Care Order mean?

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When the Local Authority considers that a child is at risk of significant harm, they can apply for a Care Order or an Interim Care Order. This would only be granted if the Court finds reasonable grounds to believe that a child has  suffered or is at...

Japanese Knotweed - don't shrug it off! Have you checked your house?

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Japanese Knotweed is an intrusive plant that spreads swiftly. The roots can reach depths of up to three meters and it can seriously damage infrastructure and buildings. Concrete cannot withstand its strength, which is why it is causing problems for sellers...

What is a Grant of Representation?

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When someone dies, in order to access assets held with financial institutions, sell assets, and even pay any debts that the deceased held on their death, a legal document known as a Grant of Representation is required. What are the types of Grant of...

What is a Communicourt Intermediary?

Adarsh Patel
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Communicourt is an intermediary service mostly funded by HMCTS, with no charges or payments required by parents or legal professionals. In the context of Care Proceedings, their aim is to assist a parent who has a communication difficulty which impairs their...

Can my Legal Representative attend a Child Protection Conference with me?

Emily Jones
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What is a Child Protection Conference? A Child Protection Conference is a multi-agency meeting arranged by the Local Authority.  The purpose of the conference is for family members and professionals involved in a child’s life to share...

Domestic abusers could find themselves subject to electronic tags upon release from prison

Harriet Starkey
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A new scheme will be launched in the East and West Midlands, which will see offenders that pose a threat to their former partner and/or their children, being subject to electronic tagging. This will help protect victims from further abuse following their...

Can my baby be placed for adoption by the Local Authority against my will?

Chelsea  Harris
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Your baby being placed for adoption against your will is referred to as a non-consensual adoption or contested adoption. The term ‘forced adoption’ is not a term that is used within the Family Court but is used widely in the media. Before an...

Failing to provide driver identification details

Olivia Peck
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It is an offence if you fail to provide details of a driver, to the police, at the time an alleged offence has been committed, under S172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. The registered keeper of a vehicle has a legal obligation to provide details of who was...

Frequently Asked Questions when Selling a Property

Katelyn  Isliker
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Why have I been asked to provide proof of identification? As a firm of solicitors, under the Money Laundering Regulations we must comply with the requirements for proof of identity and money laundering. This is a legal requirement, that means we require...

How Do I Appoint a Guardian For My Children In My Will?

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What is a Guardian appointed by my Will? If you die leaving children under the age of 18, you can make provision in your Will for who you would like to look after your children if there is no one else with Parental Responsibility. They would then  be...

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Harriet Starkey
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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is widely recognised as a month to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence in our society and what can be done to stop it. It is a problem in every culture, religion and race and it can take...

How Much Is My Public Sector Pension Worth?

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For many people, a large part of the Divorce process will revolve around how their financial assets will be divided. However, for those who work in the public sector, the value of their pensions has been unusually uncertain over the past few years, which has...

What is a Child Assessment Order?

Emily Jones
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If the Local Authority are concerned about a child’s health, development or the way that they are being treated, but do not feel that there is an immediate risk to them, they may request that various assessments are undertaken. These assessments are...

Jade's Law: What is it and How Does it Affect Me?

Adarsh Patel
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By the end of 2023, Justice Secretary Alex Chalk plans to introduce a new law before Parliament which would result in parents who kill their partner or ex-partner with whom they have children to automatically have their parental responsibility suspended upon...

What is a ParentAssess Assessment: How is it different to PAMS?

Isabelle Swirles
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PAMS stands for ‘ parenting assessment manual software ’ . It was an assessment used with parents or carers that have learning difficulties or additional needs. Its aim is to assess the parent ’ s capacity and to support them in...

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