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Have you been referred to MST?

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MST stands for Multisystemic Therapy. Multisystemic Therapy is an intensive family and community based intervention for children and young people aged 11-17. MST work with the families of young people who are at risk of being placed into care or custody. ...

How can I prove that I have stopped using drugs and alcohol in Care Proceedings? Considering the FDAC approach as an alternative to the traditional routes.

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Many parents who are involved in Care Proceedings before the Family Court may feel immense pressure in trying to abstain from drugs or alcohol and proving this within the restrictive time limit of the 26 week timetable of the proceedings. Parents may feel...

Landmark appeal - murder conviction quashed

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When Sally Challen was convicted of murdering her husband in 2011, the courts did not recognise ‘coercive control’ and the impact it could have an individual’s mental health and state of mind. Four years later when physiological...

Are you buying a property? Here are some tips to consider

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Research the Area  Before you decide on a property, research the area. One of the best ways to get a feel for the area is to spend some time there. Although you will likely visit when viewing the property, schedule in some time to explore the area....

Study finds that one in five children subject to Supervision Orders are harmed again within five years

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A recent study undertaken by Lancaster University for the Centre for Child & Family Justice Research looked at the contribution of supervision orders and special guardianship to children’s lives and family justice. The number of...

What can I do if I want to see my child?

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You may be able to apply for a Child Arrangements Order . These are Court Orders that confirm whom a child is to live with and/or spend time with (often referred to as “contact”). Who can apply for a child arrangements order? A parent,...

Why did I decide to become an Apprentice?

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By Bethany Barton What were my options? When choosing my options to further my career, I knew going to University was not the right path for me. I wanted to look at all of my options to see what other routes were available to me. Law and society has...

Probate fee increase

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In order to obtain a Grant of Representation from the Probate Registry (which includes a Grant of Probate), an application fee must be paid. The application fee is currently a flat fee of £155 if a Solicitor makes the application or £215 if the...

Prison and Drug Detection

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It has recently been announced that drug detection scanner technology will be used to detect drugs at ten of the most challenging prisons. These scanners will be able to detect drugs on paper, clothes and mail. Furthermore, it will be able to detect...

Eating Disorder Awareness and You Can Care Week

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Raising Awareness – 25 th February to 1 st March – Eating Disorder Awareness and You Can Care Week Emery Johnson Astills are keen to promote and support many issues and raise awareness of issues within the public eye. This week is Eating...

Care- Proceedings - Is the 26-week timetable long enough?

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The Children and Families Act 2014, s14, introduced the 26-week ‘time limit’ on how long care proceedings should take to conclude. Before this, cases would take over a year to conclude and this had caused stress for both the parents and their...

Upskirting - A New Law

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Voyeurism (Offences) Act 2019 – What’s New! On 12 th February 2019 The Voyeurism (Offences) (No 2) received Royal Assent. Meaning the Act has now created new criminal offences. This new law deals with 'upskirting', which is: ...

Can you disclose confidential information arising out of Care Proceedings to other agencies such as the police?

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The process of disclosure of confidential material is governed by rules and protocols and sometimes the approval of the Court is required. The main objective is to set up an exchange of information and for full co-operation between the authorities involved...

Frequently asked questions when selling and purchasing a property

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Why have I been asked to provide proof of identification? As solicitors, we must comply with the government’s requirements for proof of identity and money laundering. We require proof of identification and proof of address under Money Laundering...

What is Female Genital Mutilation?

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Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed, but where there’s no medical reason for this to be done. FGM is often performed by traditional circumcisers or ‘cutters’ who...

Court of Appeal Update: Psychological Manipulation - Murder Defence

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In 2015 new laws were passed criminalising controlling and coercive behaviour , but back in 2015 when Sally Challen was convicted for her husband’s murder the law did not recognise the impact that such behaviour had on an individual’s actions. ...

Prisoners "refusing" to attend Court?

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There is an increasing problem that has started to manifest itself in prisons in England and Wales: prisoners are said to be “refusing” to attend Court.  Whether it is visits at the prison, video links with legal representatives or the...

Can my child give evidence in Court during care proceedings?

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During care proceedings, the question of whether a child should give evidence or not has been an ongoing issue. Following the leading case of Re W , the Court’s main objective is to achieve a fair trial. With this objective the Court must weigh up two...

Can a parent be ruled out as a carer before a final hearing?

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It is not uncommon in care proceedings to be in a situation where all of the evidence on the parents is now available and the professionals have taken a view on it, this may not necessarily be a view that is shared by the parents. The case is not ready for a...

Bodie Hodges Dodgeball Social Event

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We would like to thank the Bodie Hodges Foundation for organising the Dodgeball Social Event last Thursday at the Enderby Leisure Centre. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and lots of fun! Corporate Partners of the charity had a chance to compete against...

Do I lose my legal rights if I move out of the family home?

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As family lawyers this is one of the questions we are most frequently asked – and the simple answer is “no”. Going through a separation can be an emotional and stressful time and even more so when you are still living under the same...

Stamp Duty for First Time Buyers

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What is stamp duty? Stamp duty is a lump sum that you are liable to pay when you buy a residential property or a piece of land costing more than £125,000.00 (or more than £40,000.00 for second homes). This tax applies to freehold and...

What is the difference between Mediation and Collaborative Law?

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If you’ve just made the decision to end your marriage , there’s no doubt it was probably one of the biggest and most difficult decisions you have ever made. But now you have another important decision to make…how to actually get the...

When Driving Becomes Dangerous

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There is a specific offence of dangerous driving , which carries a maximum prison sentence of 2 years. If that driving is a cause of someone's death, the maximum sentence rises to one of 14 years. In each case there are minimum disqualification...

Do I need a solicitor for Probate?

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Many Executors can now make a personal application for a Grant of Probate in respect of an estate online by using the probate application system. Until very recently, as part of the application for a Grant of Probate, Executors were required to swear an...

Family Mediation Week: What is Mediation?

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The 21 st January to 25 th January 2019 is Family Mediation Week. The aim is to let more people know about the benefits of mediation, and to encourage separating couples to consider family mediation as a way of helping them to take control of their...

Domestic Abuse....Do the proposed new laws go far enough?

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The Government is proposing new laws regarding domestic abuse , which will, for the first time, create a legal definition of domestic abuse, including economic abuse and controlling, manipulative non-physical abuse. The Home Office estimates that the cost...

Drug Driving

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Taking drugs can impair your driving skills, causing dizziness, drowsiness, slower reaction times and an inability to concentrate. Not everyone realises it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle whilst being unfit through the consumption of drugs. ...

What is a Children's Rights Officer?

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A Children’s Rights Officer (CRO) is a professional who supports children or young people who currently have Local Authority involvement or are classed as looked after by the Local Authority for example they are in foster care. However, a CRO...

Probate Pricing

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From 6 th December 2018, all regulated law firms in the UK had to be price transparent across a number of common services including Probate. Probate is the term used for administering an estate and obtaining a Grant of Representation.  It is a process...

What is a Child Arrangements Order and when can it be applied for ?

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Child Arrangements Orders are Court Orders that confirm whom a child is to live with and/or spend time with (often referred to as “contact or access ”). In short, they set out  the arrangements for children where agreement cannot be reached...

Do I have to go to court to sort out our financial and children arrangements or are there other options which are cheaper and better ?

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You do not have to go to Court and there are other options which we can discuss with you. One option is the collaborative approach. Under the collaborative law process, each of you will appoint your own collaboratively trained lawyer. At Emery Johnson...

Do I really need a lawyer to get divorced?

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It is becoming increasingly more common for parties to self-litigate rather than use a solicitor to assist and advise them through family law matters. There is currently a former police chief inspector who is setting up a website in an attempt to convince...

Is your ex-partner continuously stopping you from spending time with your child?

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It is common for a parent with whom a child is not residing to feel frustrated that the primary carer of the child is not facilitating contact arrangements as per a Court Order. Do you feel that no matter how much you are flexible with the child...

Is getting a divorce your New Year's Resolution?

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Monday 7 th January 2019 is known as ‘Divorce Day’.  Legal firms across the country will see a surge in queries from spouses planning to break up in 2019. Statistics on divorce regularly reveal a spike in the number of people separating in...

Is your ex-partner breaching a Child Arrangements Order?

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Senna & Aldenberg  & Anor [2018] FCCA 2711 In October 2014 in Australia, an Order was made by agreement which provided for the children to live with the mother and spend time with the father. Shortly after the Order was made, the...

Price Transparency rules now in place

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As of 6 th December 2018, firms regulated under the SRA are required to publish the prices they charge and what the price includes and excludes, for Conveyancing, Probate, Motoring offences, immigration advice and the cost of bringing claims before an...

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

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Also referred to as a ‘living together’ agreement, a cohabitation agreement is a legal document entered into between couples who have chosen to live together, which clearly sets out how finances are to be handled and what should happen in the...

Time to end the blame game....

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The Law Society of England & Wales responded last week to a government consultation on 'no-fault' divorce saying  that removing blame from the divorce process will allow separating couples to focus on what really matters. The Law Society...

The Local Authority and the issue of child protection case focus

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The Local Authority have a duty to protect children and the case of CN and GN v Poole Borough Council [2017] EWCA Civ 2185 reminds us of the importance of this. Our Care Team at Emery Johnson Astills have the expertise to assist in a wide range of Child...

Offences relating to state benefits

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There are two main offences that are prosecuted in relation to state benefits: The dishonest offence It is an offence to dishonestly make a representation in order to obtain benefit, and this includes a dishonest failure to promptly notify a change in...

What does it mean if I have been placed in a possible pool of perpetrators within a Fact Find Hearing?

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The Judge orders a ‘Fact Find’ hearing within care proceedings (when the Local Authority is the Applicant) if it believes that the facts of issue in the case cannot resolved at the final hearing. Fact Find hearings in care proceedings are...

Do married couples have the same rights as unmarried couples?

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On a divorce or dissolution, married couples/civil partners have a right to a fair share of any assets that they or their spouse owns. The Court will have discretion to consider the circumstances and history of the relationship to make an order. The Court...

What is a Serious Crime Prevention Order (SCPO)

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WHEN CAN THE COURT MAKE SCPO? A Serious Crime Prevention Order is a civil order which the Crown Court can make if you are convicted of a ‘serious offence’. A ‘serious offence is one of the offences listed in Schedule 1, Part 1 of the...

Mother loses her home as a victim to Son's fraud

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Santander UK plc v Fletcher & Anor [2018] EWHC 2778 (Ch) Background Mrs Fletcher (the appellant) has lost her home after becoming a victim to fraud by her own Son, Mr Fletcher. Mr Fletcher was convicted of fraud after Mrs Fletcher’s home was...

Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme

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According to Women’s Aid, an average of two women are killed by their partner or ex-partner every week in England and Wales. The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, known as Clare’s Law, was introduced on the 8th March 2014 on International...

Prioritising kids helps minimise fallout from family breakdown

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In a new poll, 79% of the population agreed conflict from divorce or separation can affect negatively children’s mental health, a figure rising to 87% among those who experienced their parents’ divorce as children. 77% said conflict could affect...

My partner has been abusive towards me. Why have Social Services removed my child?

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It is a well-known fact that domestic abuse hurts children, whether they are physically caught up in the middle of it, or a witness, it causes emotional abuse. Latest government statistics show that half of the children assessed as needing social services...

Family Placement in Care Proceedings: What are the possible outcomes?

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During Care proceedings if the Court decides that a child cannot be cared for by either of their parents then usually the Court will seek to keep the child within their family by placing them with a family member.  A family placement would be approved...

Fizz, Food & Friendly Faces

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Last Thursday, on what was a cold, grim, winters evening, Emery Johnson Astills hosted a pre Christmas networking event ‘Fizz, Food & Friendly Faces’ at the Parcel Yard in Leicester. The weather did not deter and over 100 professionals and...

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