ANNOUNCING Cheshire Without Abuse as our Charity of the Year 2016- 2017
Domestic abuse is sadly an ever-present and ever-real (ever-growing) problem in today’s society, with frightening statistics to support this. And yet, with stigma and shame seemingly still attached to the issue, many instances of domestic abuse still go unrecognised and unreported.
In December 2015 a new domestic abuse law came into force, which paves the way for charges in cases where there is evidence of repeated "controlling or coercive behaviour" - read our blog on the new law and what constitutes controlling and coercive behaviour.
And earlier this year, BBC Radio 4’s The Archers’ main plot depicted coercive control, showing how domestic abuse can easily become a shameful secret, hidden by fear and manipulation.
At Susan Howarth & Company, we have members of our team who are members of Law Society Family Law Panel, Law Society Childrens Panel and Resolution Panel, in addition to two specialist mediators and two experts in domestic violence.
We deal with many cases involving domestic abuse so nominating Cheshire Without Abuse as our chosen charity to support this year felt like a natural choice. Click this link for more details on Cheshire Without Abuse.
We’re really excited about working with CWA and will be putting on several fundraising events throughout this year. Watch this space!
RECENT ACCREDITATIONS ACHIEVED BY THE FIRM
Legal 500 - We are extremely pleased to have been recently recognised as one of the top 500 law firms in the United Kingdom in respect of our family law and care specialism.
WIQS - We have also been recently accredited with the Law Society's Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme, which recognises the firm as providing a best quality mark for wills and estate administration advice that our client's can trust.
Resolution Accredited Specialist - On the 19th February 2015, Victoria Poole in our Family Team was accredited by Resolution as a specialist in Domestic Abuse and in Children, gaining specialist status under the Resolution scheme. To enable Victoria to become a Resolution Accredited Specialist, she had to pass a tough independent assessment to show her skills, expertise and knowledge.
JANE WILLIAMSON RECENTLY APPOINTED AS A TRIBUNAL JUDGE
Congratulations to our very own Jane Williamson who has recently been appointed as a Tribunal judge at the Mental Health Tribunal. Jane is a Director and Head of our Care and Adoption Team at Susan Howarth & Co Solicitors. Jane already sits as a part-time Judge on the Special Educational Needs Tribunal and Social Security Tribunal.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DISCLOSURE SCHEME – “CLARE’S LAW”
The rules surrounding Domestic Violence and Abuse have recently changed to allow people to request the police to check their partner’s previous history of Domestic Violence or violent acts. This is known as the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme or “Clare’s Law”, which is named after Claire Wood, who was strangled by her boyfriend, George Appleton and set on fire at her home in Salford, in February 2009. The couple had met on the internet and Mr Appleton had a record of violence against women.
The checks also stretch to anyone who is worried about someone they know who is in a potentially abusive relationship and believe they are at risk of domestic violence and/or abuse.
The checks allow the police to look through the person’s criminal history/records and if they have reason to believe this person is a risk due to offences they may have committed or other information arising from their system, they can consider disclosing such background information to the potential victim. The victim can then make their own choice as to whether to continue in the relationship or not.
This also coincides with a further change and introduction of Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs), which help and provide support for victims who have been subjected to incidents of Domestic Violence and Abuse. They have been implemented from the 8th March 2014. DVPOs can last for up to 28 days, during which time an offender can be prevented from having contact with the victim and/or returning to the home where they have both lived.
This is designed to be a “filler”, which provides immediate protection to the victim so it gives them enough time to think about their options and what to do next. We would advise the victim should always seek legal assistance from a solicitor to see what more permanent measures can be taken against an offender. For more information on this and generally in relation to Domestic Violence and Abuse, please consult the police website or visit: https://www.gov.uk/domestic-violence-and-abuse
If you believe you are a victim of Domestic Violence and/or Abuse and want to know your options in terms of protecting yourself, your children and your home then please call our Office on 01606 48777 to make an appointment to see one of our highly trained solicitors. We also offer public funding for those on limited means subject to meeting the criteria.
FIXED FEE DIVORCE PRODUCTS FOR PEOPLE ON INCOME-RELATED BENEFITS
If you are in receipt of one of the following benefits then you will be entitled to our discounted fixed fee divorce products, whether you are the person initiating the divorce or whether you have received divorce papers from the court:
- Income Support
- Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Related Jobseekers Allowance
Please contact our office for further information on these products if you are in receipt of one of these benefits.
CHESHIRE FAMILY LAW DIY DIVORCE SESSIONS FEATURED IN NORTHWICH GUARDIAN
The launch of our sister business and its new DIY divorce form filling service featured in the Northwich Guardian on November 5th when the paper highlighted recent legal aid cuts and how our firm is trying to assist people who can no longer get legal aid for their divorce. For the full article follow this link to
CHESHIRE FAMILY LAW LAUNCHES NEW GUIDANCE SCHEME FOR DIY DIVORCE
Our associated business, Cheshire Family Law, have launched a new service for people who are doing their own divorce but need help to complete the various forms. An evening session provides the forms needed, helping people to fill them out and providing copies to keep. Due to limited spaces, places need to be booked in advance. See our Events section for the next session or look on our Services list for the link to Cheshire Family Law where more detail about the session is available.
THE 360 LEGAL GROUP ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND AWARDS DINNER 2012
The Firm are delighted and honoured to have received the prestigious National Award of "Niche (Specialist) Firm of the Year."