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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...

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...

BANNED FROM DRIVING? CAN YOU GET YOUR LICENCE BACK EARLY?

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DRIVING DISQUALIFICATION? EMERY JOHNSON ASTILLS CAN HELP YOU GET YOUR LICENCE BACK If your circumstances have changed since being disqualified, it is worth discussing with one of our criminal law specialists whether or not it is possible to apply to a...

We Would Like To Welcome Nanita Kanabar To Our Family Team

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Nanita joined Emery Johnson Astills in September 2018 after having worked in a niche family law firm. Nanita completed her LLB Law degree at the University of Hertfordshire and undertook her LPC at the College of Law in Birmingham. Nanita specialises in...

I've recorded a conversation with my social worker without their permission, can I show it to the Judge?

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In recent years there has been an increase in the use of smart phones and technology that allows recordings to be made on devices that can be easily concealed. When representing parties in family proceedings we are often asked ‘can secret recordings I...

Totting Up & Exceptional Hardship Explained

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At Emery Johnson Astills one of the most frequently asked questions we receive is regarding the totting up procedure. We are aware that the risk of losing your licence can have a profound impact on your life. You may use your vehicle daily, driving to work,...

Fracking - Criminal Proceedings & Sentencing for Protestors

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On 31 st October the first anti-fracking protesters to be sentenced to imprisonment had their manifestly excessive custodial sentences quashed by the Court of Appeal and replaced with conditional discharges. Following a 4 week trial at Preston Crown Court...

Having another baby if you have had previous children removed from your care

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Research completed by Lancaster University has shown that one in four mothers who have a child removed through the Family Court is likely to be subject to Care Proceedings again with regards to future children. The time gap between these sets of...

Parental Alienation

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Parental alienation is a term used when one parent attempts to turn the couple’s children against the other parent. It is one of the biggest issues raised in proceedings concerning child contact following the separation of parents. The purpose of...

What is Japanese Knotweed?

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Japanese knotweed can be found almost all over the country. The uncontrolled and invasive nature quickly allowed it to become a pest in the UK. In the winter the plant dies back to ground level but by early summer the bamboo-like stems emerge deep...

Domestic Abuse and Children

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Domestic abuse ruins the lives of its victims with more than 2 million people subjected to this terrible crime each year. However, NSPCC statistics show that as many as 1 in 5 children in the UK are also witness to or exposed to this horrible crime during...

I want to change my child's surname what shall I do?

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Changing a child’s surname may not be as easy as you think and will depend on many variables. However, our specialist team at Emery Johnson Astills can help you.  A child’s name  must be registered within six weeks of the child’s...

Budget 2018

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Stamp Duty Abolished for all first-time buyers of shared ownership properties worth up to £500, 000 and Help to Buy Scheme extended to 2023! Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced plans to correct an anomaly from his previous budget by cutting stamp...

I'm suffering domestic abuse. Can I go into a refuge?

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MPs are calling for stronger action to tackle Domestic Abuse . A figure revealed by MPs from the Home Affairs Select Committee has shown that almost 200 victims of Domestic Abuse are turned away from emergency refuges every day due to desperate lack of bed...

The Law on failing to provide a Sample

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You may be asked to provide a breath sample at the roadside if you are suspected of driving with excess alcohol in your body. If you provide a positive sample, you are likely to be arrested and taken to the police station. Why do I have to do it again at...

How can I prove I am no longer using substances?

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Hair strand testing is often used in care proceedings where there are concerns that parents are or have been using illegal substances. Hair strand testing is used in both public and private children proceedings. Hair strand testing can be paid for...

Leicester Half Marathon Relay - 14th October 2018

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The Half Marathon Relay was held in Leicester alongside the Leicester Half and Full marathon. This year it took place on 14 th October and Emery Johnson Astills had the greatest pride in entering three teams to run this year! For the last five years...

I'm being stalked and harassed by my ex-partner, what can I do?

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Stalking and harassment has been prevalent in the news in recent times. These days there is much greater awareness of these issues and yet, here at Emery Johnson Astills, sadly we often receive calls from people informing us that their ex-partners are...

"Who's the daddy?" - How to establish paternity in Care Proceedings?

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When the Local Authority have concerns about the welfare of a child, they will usually have ongoing involvement and conversations with the parents of the child. In making a plan to keep the child safe, the social worker will make enquiries with any estranged...

Restrictive covenant not discharged purely to 'clean up' a title (Re Evans)

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When purchasing a home, you should be aware of restrictive covenants affecting the property, to avoid costly mistakes. At Emery Johnson Astills, we will ensure that you know exactly what you can and cannot do with your property taking into consideration...

No Fault Divorce - what is the issue?

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The current divorce law is set out in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. For a couple to divorce one party must show that their marriage has ‘irretrievably broken down’ and that one of five grounds are satisfied. The five grounds for divorce...

Breach of Post-Sentence Supervision

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What is post-sentence supervision? Post-sentence supervision is a requirement which is applied to all offenders who receive a sentence of less than 2 years imprisonment. It was designed to provide a second supervision period to assist in rehabilitation of...

Civil Partnerships

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Yesterday, the Prime Minster announced that heterosexual couples will now be allowed to enter into Civil Partnerships instead of getting married.  The change will now mean that for the first time ever both same sex partners and mixed sex partners will...

Assault on Emergency Workers Bill

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Until now the only specific offence has been that of assaulting a police officer. This is a summary only offence which carries a maximum of 6 months imprisonment. A new law has been passed which will create a new category of common assault - assaulting an...

What are the duties of the Local Authority in relation to children?

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The Local Authority has many responsibilities. Some of these responsibilities are voluntary in nature and some of them are mandatory and are contained in the Children Act 1989, which is an important piece of legislation. This article will focus on the ...

What is County Lines Exploitation, is it the same as Modern Slavery?

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County lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas within the UK, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of “deal line”. They are likely to...

Possession of an offensive weapon

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Carrying an offensive weapon is a serious offence. The unlawful provision and possession of weapons encourages violence and can cause serious injury and death. In addition to this possession of weapons also assists in the facilitation of other criminal...

What are Section 47 Enquiries?

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These enquiries refer to section 47 of the Children Act 1989. Section 47 of the Act covers a Local Authority’s, or Social Services, duty to carry out an investigation or assessment when they are informed that a child, who lives in their area,...

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

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A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you (the donor) to appoint attorneys to make decisions on your behalf.  Most people appoint trusted friends or relatives.  Some decide to appoint professional attorneys and, in this...

What is reasonable contact with a child in care?

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Under Section 34(1) of the Children Act 1989, where a child is in the care of a Local Authority, the Local Authority must allow ‘reasonable contact’ between a child in its care and their parents, guardian and others with parental...

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