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Is there a need for an inquiry into abusive parents' access to children?

Dozens of parents have told the BBC Victoria Derbyshire programme their abusive ex-partners were granted unsupervised contact with their child. When parents separate and they are unable to agree arrangements for their children, they may find themselves...

What is an intermediary and how can they assist me at Court?

For some people Court is a very stressful and daunting place, particularly if they are vulnerable in terms of mental health issues or learning disabilities. What is an intermediary? An intermediary works within the Justice system with vulnerable victims,...

Equity Release - What is it?

Equity release is a way to access the cash tied up in your property if you are over the age of 55. You can take the money you release in several smaller amounts or as a lump sum and you do not need to have a fully paid off mortgage to do this. Two Equity...

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental health is not talked about enough. Statistics show that mental health issues are much more common that you would think. 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year 1 in 6 people experience a mental health problem each week ...

Mobile Phone Penalties

It has been illegal to use mobile phones whilst driving since 2003.  However despite many high-profile campaigns, including adverts on the radio and TV, motorists still continue to text and call whilst driving causing accidents, which in some incidents...

Is it time to redeem your Help to Buy Equity Scheme Loan?

In 2013, the Government created the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme to assist first time buyers and homeowners buy a property. Under the scheme, the Government lends up to 20% of the cost of your newly built home, so you’ll only need a 5% cash deposit...

Will my Children be placed together in Foster Care?

If you and your children are going through Care Proceedings and it has been agreed that a Sibling Attachment Assessment is required, here’s what to expect… Sibling relationships are emotionally powerful and critically important not only in...

What is a Section 7 report?

A Section 7 report is a report written by a CAFCASS worker or a social worker from the Local Authority 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 private...

Isabel Wilson wins Senior Solicitor of the Year at LLS Awards

  Isabel Wilson, a Partner and highly experienced Solicitor-Advocate in the criminal team at Emery Johnson Astills, has been awarded Senior Solicitor of the Year by the Leicestershire Law Society. The awards which took place at Athena on Friday 26 th...

I was only shoved around a bit and shouted at. That can't be domestic abuse, can it?

All too often, particularly if it occurs over a long period of time, victims of domestic abuse seek advice from us, not really realising the extent of the abuse.  They become desensitised. Many of our clients, on speaking with us, tell us things like...

Social Services have suggested that I have neglected my children - what does this mean?

One of the first images that pops into a person’s mind when they hear that someone has social services involvement with their children is that of children who are severely neglected. The NSPCC website defines neglect as the “ongoing failure to...

Why are rape victims being told their case may be dropped?

Rape victims are among those who will be asked to hand their smart phones over to the police or risk the prosecution against the suspect being dropped.   Why have rape cases been collapsing? This new measure follows the collapse of several rape...

Bank Holiday Drinking? Reminder to Drivers....

It is easy to get caught up in the bank holiday spirit, but, did you know that you may possibly still be over the drink drive limit the following day? Offences we deal with include being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit through...

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is an alternative form of dispute resolution where parties are encouraged to work together to reach a reasonable outcome for all parties involved, without going to Court. A qualified arbitrator is agreed upon by parties to adjudicate the dispute,...

Probate fee hike delay

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...

Upskirting Offence - 12th April 2019

‘Upskirting’ is the term used when referring to the action of a camera or mobile phone being placed beneath a persons skirt to take a ‘voyeuristic’ photograph without their permission. Today, a new law has come into effect making...

Detectors for using a mobile phone whilst driving

Forces are rolling out technology that show when motorists are using their phones. A sign will flash at the driver telling them to stop using their mobile - but the detectors cannot tell if it is a passenger or driver using the phone. The technology will ...

How could Family Law principles change after Brexit?

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, there are several family law agreements that will be effected and potentially no longer apply to the UK. This will mainly affect the principles surrounding the country that family law disputes are heard in and how the...

Is it a good thing to name and shame third parties during divorce proceedings?

Whilst on a basic human level, naming the co-respondent seems logical, maybe even obvious and necessary; as specialist family solicitors we advise our clients not to include this information in a divorce petition. But Why? To begin with,  there is...

Failed to provide a breath specimen - What happens next?

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

What is Private FDR or a Private Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing?

A Financial Dispute Resolution, also known as a FDR is a court hearing in relation to financial proceedings. Attendance at a Court FDR is compulsory. The hearing is listed for parties in financial matters to obtain advice from a Judge regarding the likely...

Divorce- Reforms to end the "blame game"

In the last year, in England and Wales, some 118,000 people commenced divorce proceedings. Currently divorce laws mean spouses have to provide evidence for a divorce if one partner does not agree to it. Under current laws, unless someone can prove there was...

Can an Interim Care Order last beyond a child's 17th birthday?

Our Care team at Emery Johnson Astills can assist on a range of Child Law related matters. Whether that is representation at case conferences and/or at Court. We have specialist solicitors who can assist you. In relation to the question posted, the law on...

What is Exceptional Hardship?

Are you at risk from being disqualified from driving? Can you argue Exceptional Hardship?   View our video presented by Michelle Harding, Partner and Solicitor Advocate in our Criminal department .   For advice and assistance please contact...

Female Genital Mutilation, what's changed?

In 2019, the press published the shocking story of a mother who became the first person to be convicted of performing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in England and Wales. The mother was sentenced to 11 years in prison. FGM is illegal in the UK. The World...

What is a Knife Crime Prevention Order?

In order to enhance police powers the Government is seeking an amendment to the Offensive Weapons Bill to introduce Knife Crime Prevention Orders. What is a Knife Crime Prevention Order? It is proposed that anyone aged 12 or over can be made subject to...

I'm moving in with my partner. Do I need a cohabitation agreement?

Couples who live together without marrying do not have any legal rights if they separate.  Without the benefit of an agreement, one of them could be left with nothing on separation. The fastest growing type of family in the U.K. is that of the ...

The Importance of a Solicitor in Divorce Proceedings

Is it important to have a solicitor when starting divorce proceedings? If the unimaginable happens and a married couple decide to go their separate ways, they are left with the decision of whether or not to instruct solicitors to assist in petitioning...

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

What is an EPC and do I need one? An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) provides information on the efficiency of a property. It also lists recommendations and suggestions on how to improve the efficiency of a property and to make it as efficient as...

Have you been referred to MST?

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.

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

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

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

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?

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?

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 always appealed to me,...

Probate fee increase

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

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

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?

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

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?

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

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?

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

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?

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?

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?

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

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?

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...
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