FREE 30 MINUTE CONSULTATION FOR ALL NEW FAMILY LAW CLIENTS
We know that many relationships and marriages can experience difficulty and/or break down for all manner of reasons.
And, with or without children, aside from the heartache and turmoil of a relationship breakdown, resolving separation matters can become extremely complicated and messy.
This is why we recommend seeking legal advice at the earliest possible stage.
Joint counselling can be an excellent idea for couples who are experiencing problems and struggling to communicate. Conversely, you may have already tried counselling and need to explore separation, divorce or mediation options. You may have children to consider or perhaps the relationship is now no longer healthy.
Whatever the reason, a specialist family lawyer can advise on your position and options, and give information about joint or family finances and negotiating financial settlements.
If you are unable to attend one of our FREE Family Law drop-in clinics, we are now offering all new Family Law clients a FREE 30 minute consultation – for more details or to book an appointment, please contact us directly on 01606 48777 or fill in the contact form on the left and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
NOVEMBER 2016 - Will Aid month
Following on from last month’s introduction of the new free Will initiative here at Susan Howarth & Co., we’re delighted to announce our participation in Will Aid this November.
A UK-wide scheme, Will Aid is a simply way to make your Will and support nine fantastic charities. Absolutely anyone and everyone can take part throughout the month, and there is no minimum age imposed on who can get a Will.
As a part of Will Aid, we will waive our usual fee and you are invited to make a donation to charity (the suggested voluntary donation is £95 for a basic single Will or £150 for a pair of basic mirror Wills).
As there is limited availability and some conditions apply, please contact our Wills & Probate lawyer Natalie Whitmore on 01606 48777 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
SH&Co. recommended again in The Legal 500 2016-2017 edition
The latest edition of The Legal 500 has been published in September 2016 and once again Susan Howarth & Co. Solicitors has been included in recognition of our work in the area of Family Law and Child Care.
The Legal 500 is the UK’s leading independent guide to law firms and inclusion in the guide is highly prized by lawyers as it represents an objective endorsement of the level of service and expertise being offered by the firm, as benchmarked against its main competition.
Susan Howarth, Director of SH&Co., said: “We are absolutely delighted to not only be ranked in The Legal 500 for the 3rd year running, but to also move up a tier - it’s a credit to the whole team for their high level of service, success and hard work.”
LIZZY EMMINGTON SUCCESSFULLY GAINS ADMISSION ONTO THE LAW SOCIETY CHILDREN'S PANEL
Congratulations to Lizzy Emmington from our Child Care department, who has gained recognition for her expertise in Children's Law and has been approved as an accredited member of the Law Society Children's Panel.
OUR 1ST YEAR AT THE NORTHWICH SUMMER EXTRAVAGANZA IS....A SUCCESS!
Wonderful people of Northwich - we salute you!
Despite the downpours, you came out in droves to the Northwich Summer Extravaganza last Saturday and helped us raise ***£150*** for our nominated charity this year, Cheshire Without Abuse - a very worthy local charity that provides much needed support to victims of domestic abuse.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
We had a whale of a time and a big special thanks goes to Steve (of Small Tops Circus - balloonist, stiltwalker, plate spinner and juggler extraordinaire!) and Jim (super speedy balloonist) for entertaining the masses!
VICTORIA POOLE RECOGNISED BY THE FAMILY MEDIATION COUNCIL
If you wish to discuss mediation or attend a mediation session with Victoria, please contact the office on 01606 48777.
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."