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Is kinship care in crisis?

The Grandparents Plus charity recently carried out a survey of kindship carers in England and noted that the current situation is in a state of crisis: For the full report - ‘State of the Nation Survey Report’- see link ...

Assessments used by Local Authorities when involved with families

There are lots of different types of assessments that can be completed when Social Services become involved in your life. Here are examples of some of the assessments you may be asked to undertake. Every child who has been referred to Local Authority...

Important Things to Remember After You Move Home

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...

Think Green and the "Bras not Bombs" Initiative

Johnson Astills has recently developed an In-house Green and Sustainability Committee which has been aptly named ‘ Think Green ’ to improve the firm’s working practices and the employees’ approaches and attitudes towards...

Parental Alienation

What is parental alienation? Parental alienation lacks a single definition as there can be varying contributing factors and impacts. Generally, parental alienation is considered to be when a child is manipulated by one parent to display unjustified...

Release under Investigation a Review to be made

When arrested by Police, there are various different outcomes, one of which is to release under investigation pending further enquiries which need to be conducted, this outcome is used instead of releasing on police bail. However, unlike police bail there...

Advance Decisions

An advance decision is a statement of instructions about what medical and healthcare treatment you want to refuse in the future, in case you lose the capacity to make these decisions. It is important to note you can only refuse specific treatment in the...

Children in Need

One in 50 children in the UK are classed as ‘Children in Need’ before they are even born. A study of Government figures show that more than 7,000 of such vulnerable children have been put in the category of ‘Children in Need’ before...

Police Bail: An overview

At Johnson Astills our criminal team regularly represent clients at the police station stage and before the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts to deal with the issue of bail. Can you be bailed from the police station without charge? After police...

Drivers using mobile phones - loophole set to close

The loophole that allows drivers who use mobile phones to escape prosecution is set to close.  In September we did an article and video following the High Court’s decision to overturn the conviction of an individual who used his mobile...

Vital new support for young people leaving the care system

Monday 28 th October marked the beginning of National Care Leavers Week. The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced new cross government support to be made available for young people leaving care . This will include a £19 million of...

The Probate fee increase has been scrapped!

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...

A better way to divorce

At Emery Johnson Astills , our experienced family team know that going through a separation or marriage breakdown can be extremely stressful. Our team are on hand to make the process easier and guide you through it. Our family team are committed in...

Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common? What do they mean?

If you are intending on purchasing a property with another person, you will need to consider how you both would like to hold the property. The type of ownership affects what you can do with the property if a joint owner dies or your relationship breaks...

What is a Pre-Proceedings Meeting and Must I Attend?

Yes, it is extremely important that you attend a Pre-Proceedings Meeting and that you seek legal advice. What is the Public Law Outline? The Public Law Outline set out the duties that Local Authorities must perform before they can issue care...

What should I expect if my child is subject to a CP Medical?

A Child Protection Medical is also known as a CP Medical, a Section 47 Medical or a Paediatric Medical Assessment. The Local Authority may request that a CP Medical is completed where there is suspicion or disclosure of child abuse and/or neglect or a...

What happens if I have been accused of shaking my baby?

Shaken Baby Syndrome or Abusive Head Trauma refers to the diagnosis given to a baby or infant where it is believed by medical professionals that their injuries are consistent with being violently shaken. Studies have found that babies who are between the...

Special Guardianship Orders and Supervision Orders

A national study was conducted in relation to Special Guardianship Orders and Supervision Orders. Special Guardianship Orders often involve family members stepping in to look after children who cannot live with their birth parents and these Orders have...

Do I have a right to Legal Advice prior to providing a specimen when suspected of drink driving?

Can I speak to a solicitor prior to providing a specimen?  Failing to provide a specimen of breath, urine or blood without reasonable excuse is a criminal offence . Often, a person may have a reasonable excuse for not providing a sample meaning...

Can parental responsibility be removed from an absent father?

Firstly, what is parental responsibility? Parental responsibility governs parents’ relationship with their children. Parties with parental responsibility have the ability to make decisions (usually jointly where more than one party has it)...

He loves me, he loves me not...

He loves me, he loves me not... (A modern fairytale, or is it?) * N.B. The characters described in this story are fictitious. Sally* and David* met online, after David had sent her a friend request on Facebook, thinking she looked...

What happens if I am arrested?

Whether you are arrested for a driving offence, shoplifting or murder the process of making an arrest and detention is the same. If you have never been in trouble with the Police before, you are unlikely to know exactly what happens if you are arrested. ...

I have been accused of lying about my child's illness - what does this mean?

FII stands for “Fabricated or Induced Illness” and it occurs where a parent or carer of a child exaggerates or causes a child to present with symptoms of an illness. FII is considered as a rare form of child abuse with the mother of a child...

Court Bail: An Overview & Bail Conditions

At Emery Johnson Astills our highly skilled and experienced criminal defence advocates regularly represent clients before the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts to deal with the issue of bail. Can you be bailed by the Magistrates' Court? If remanded...

What is involved in selling my property?

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...

We are participating in Will Aid

Did you know that since 1988, the legal profession has raised over £20 million for Will Aid charities!   Johnson Astills have teamed up with Will Aid this year to help support their fundraising campaign which involves nine of the...

Are the laws on using a mobile phone whilst driving changing?

Following a successful appeal against a conviction of using a mobile phone whilst driving the law around driving and mobile phones has been criticised by two High Court Judges. At the hearing the High Court judges agreed that mobile phone laws from 2003 had...

Emery Johnson Astills has been busy!

Leicester Pride 2019 Emery Johnson Astills had a successful day at Leicester Pride on Saturday 31 st August 2019. The event is Leicester’s annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) festival and takes place at Victoria Park which is a...

Tenancy Deposit Protection

If you are a Landlord renting a residential property under an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007, you are required to put the Tenant’s deposit in a government backed tenancy deposit scheme. The deposit must be placed into a...

Should I make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

At Emery Johnson Astills , our Wills and Probate Department can take the stress away and can assist with drafting and registering your LPAs. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets the donor (you) appoint one or more people known...

Should the Special Guardianship Order be Reformed?

Background of the Special Guardianship Order (SGO): The purpose of an SGO is to give one or more individuals parental responsibility (PR) and to exercise this ‘to the exclusion of all others’.  A Special Guardian can exercise their PR...

Social Services are involved with my family - when should I seek legal advice?

For the Local Authority to become involved with your family a referral has to be made. A referral can be made from a variety of agencies such as education, health and the police. The first formal stage when legal advice should be obtained is when a Child...

The Official Solicitor in Family Proceedings - who are they and what is their role?

The Official Solicitor’s full job title is the Official Solicitor to Senior Courts. If someone lacks capacity within the meaning of Mental Capacity Act 2005 to conduct proceedings that person will require a litigation friend in those proceedings. ...

What are reporting restrictions and do they apply to social media?

What are “reporting resticitions” In certain cases the court issues “reporting restrictions” preventing anything being published that would lead to the identification of a witness in the case. This could mean that you can’t...

ID documentation required in a Conveyancing transaction

Why do I need to provide so many ID documents to my Solicitor in a Conveyancing transaction?   The risk of fraud in the legal market has significantly increased and become an attractive target for fraudsters, particularly in conveyancing. The...

Will I need to go to Court to sort out finances in divorce?

There is a common perception that when a couple get divorced, their finances are automatically settled. Unfortunately this is not the case as finances are considered as a completely separate entity to the divorce. This means that if you have started divorce...

Children Act 1989 - 30 Years On......

The Children Act 1989 was granted Royal Assent on 16 th November 1989 and came into force on 14 th October 1991. It made radical changes to the law relating to children and their families both in relation to private and public law.  The Act made...

What is Threshold Criteria in Case Proceedings?

The Threshold Criteria are the facts that the Local Authority must prove if they want the Court to make a Care or Supervision Order. The Threshold Criteria is found under Section 31 of the Children Act 1989. In order to justify making a care or supervision...

What is IHT?

By Jessica Huczmann, Solicitor in our Wills and Probate Team Reading time: approximately 4 minutes   What is IHT? IHT is the abbreviated term used for Inheritance Tax. This is a tax on the estate of someone who has died. There is usually no tax...

My social worker has asked me to engage with Functional Family Therapy (FFT) - what is this?

When the Local Authority has concerns about the welfare of a child in a person’s care, they may complete various assessments to establish what support the family may need. Early Help and Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) are both forms of intensive...

My child has been made a Ward of Court - what does this mean?

Under the power of Wardship, the High Court can become a legal guardian for a child. This is only used when it has become necessary to protect and safeguard a child’s welfare. What is Wardship? Wardship is the name that is given to Court...

Oritse Williams - Found not guilty of rape

We have been following the case of Oritse Williams from chart topping boyband JLS closely after he was charged with rape 3 years ago, today he was found not guilty by a jury after just two hours. Whilst he has now been declared a free man by the criminal...

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...
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