A WORD TO THE WISE

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With the holiday season now upon us, it is worth spending a little time to make sure we do not end up on the wrong side of the law when travelling abroad. Most people are now familiar with the travel requirements in Europe but those travelling further afield run the risk of being caught by some of the more obscure laws from around the world. Even in Europe we are not totally safe as these bizarre examples demonstrate:

  • In Victoria Australia it is forbidden to wear pink hot pants after mid-day on a Sunday.
  • In Australia, it’s illegal to name any animal you plan to eat.
  • In Portugal, it’s against the law to pee in the ocean.
  • Chewing gum is illegal in Singapore.
  • In Paraguay duelling is legal just as long as both parties are registered blood donors.
  • In Milan, Italy, there is a law that requires citizens to smile at all times or risk a hefty fine. The only exceptions are visiting hospitals and funerals.
  • Donald Duck comics were once banned in Finland because he never wore pants.
  • In France, it is against the law to sell an E.T doll. They have a law forbidding the sale of dolls that do not have human faces.
  • It is illegal to take a Vicks inhaler into Japan.
  • In Maryland, it is illegal for radio stations to play Randy Newman’s song ‘Short people’.
  • In Washington, it is an offence to pretend that you have rich parents.
  • In Kentucky, it is illegal to carry and ice cream cone in your pocket.
  • In Louisiana, if you bite someone with your own teeth it is classed as ‘Simple assault’ but if you bite someone with your dentures it is classed as ‘aggravated assault’.
  • In California, police can arrest you if you shoot any animal from a moving vehicle except a whale.
  • In Alaska, it is illegal to wake a sleeping bear to take its photograph.
  • In British Columbia, it is illegal to kill a Sasquatch or Bigfoot if one is ever found.

Please remember a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and if you are holidaying in an unfamiliar location this year we do genuinely suggest that you make sure you are familiar with the local laws and customs.

Wherever you are travelling this summer we hope you have a great holiday.

Are you a victim of domestic abuse?

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Everyone has arguments and disagrees with their partners and other family members from time to time. We all do things we later regret and which cause unhappiness to those we care about. But if this begins to form a consistent pattern then it may be an indication of domestic abuse. Many people think of Domestic Abuse as being physical violence but the government definition of domestic violence and abuse includes psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.

 

At Kenyon Son and Craddock, Family Solicitors in Thorne, we use a questionnaire to help clients consider whether they may be suffering from domestic abuse. Have a read through the following questions and see if many of them apply to you:

 

  • Has your partner tried to keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • Has your partner prevented you from continuing or starting a college course or from going to work?
  • Does your partner constantly check up on you or follow you?
  • Does your partner unjustly accuse you of flirting or having affairs with others?
  • Does your partner constantly belittle or humiliate you or regularly criticise or insult you in front of other people?
  • Are you ever afraid of your partner?
  • Have you ever changed your behaviour because you are afraid of what your partner may do or say to you?
  • Has your partner ever destroyed any of your possessions deliberately?
  • Has your partner ever hurt or threatened you or your children?
  • Have your children ever witnessed your partner’s behaviour towards you?
  • Has your partner ever kept you short of money so you are unable to buy food and necessary items for yourself and your children?
  • Has your partner ever forced you to do something you really didn’t want to do?
  • Has your partner ever tried to prevent you from taking necessary medication or seeking medical help when you felt you needed it?
  • Has your partner ever threatened to take your children away or said they would refuse to let you take them with you or to see them if you left?
  • Has your partner ever tried to prevent you leaving the house?
  • Does your partner blame their use of alcohol or drugs for their behaviour?If you feel you may be a victim of domestic abuse then we can help and will provide friendly, sympathetic advice. We offer a free initial appointment and Legal Aid may be available to help you deal with the abuse and to sort out children and financial issues. Please give us a call to see how we can help.
  • Julie Murray, Legal Executive.

Race for Life

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Joanne Poynton and Sarah Littlewood, two of our Solicitors at Kenyon Son & Craddock, took part in the Pretty Muddy 5K at Temple Newsam in Leeds last weekend.  Along  with the 5k  run they both faced a range of muddy obstacles.   Joanne and Sarah did get pretty muddy and in the process raised over £300 for Cancer Research UK.mudpic

 

 

 

 

Meet the Family Law Team in Goole

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The Family Law department at our Goole office are a friendly and approachable team dedicated to providing a quality service to all our clients. The removal of Legal Aid from many family cases has been a challenge but one we have met by designing  a variety of packages to help everyone access advice when it is most needed. These range from DIY divorce packages to a fully supported service. We also provide fixed fee packages for financial issues.

We can provide a similar service for residence and contact arrangements for children – now known as Child Arrangements Orders – and can provide fixed fee arrangements to support you as and when required.

We also provide a fully accredited mediation service in Goole and Legal Aid is very often available  for this.

Care proceedings, involving Social Services, are always very traumatic for those involved and we can help you every step of the way. Legal Aid is available for parents of children involved in care proceedings and we will always make sure you have the very best representation at court and that you fully understand the proceedings.

The Team

Jean Cockerline – has been with Kenyon Son and Craddock  for eleven years, working initially in the Thorne office then moving to Goole to expand the Family Law Department there. Jean started her legal career in Hull at the age of twenty and after a career break to raise her family worked in some of the largest firms of solicitors in Hull before continuing her career with Kenyon Son and Craddock.

Sarah Porter works alongside Jean and will probably be your first contact if you telephone or call to see us. She has been with our team in Goole for eight years and you will find her understanding and supportive throughout your case.

Rebecca Kershaw provides our Family Mediation in Goole. She is accredited by the College of Mediators and  can provide Legally Aided and Private mediation in all family cases.

Call us on 01405 720850 to discuss how we can help you.

 

Dementia Awareness Week 17th – 25th May 2015

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Dementia Awareness Week 17th – 25th May 2015

Dementia Awareness Week is a campaign run by the Alzheimer’s Society to raise awareness about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in the United Kingdom.   It is estimated that this year there will be 850,000 with Dementia in the UK with numbers set to rise to 1 million by 2025.

The theme of this years Dementia Awareness Week is that ‘Life doesn’t end when dementia begins’ and the campaign is designed to help people understand how they can hold on to their lives and the things they love for longer as well as helping local communities feel better prepared to manage dementia.

At Kenyon Son & Craddock  we are keen to promote Dementia Awareness and to highlight the importance of making provision for your future.  By preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney and Wills you can ensure that your wishes are carried out during your lifetime and following your death.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

By making a Lasting Power of Attorney you are able to appoint someone who you trust to deal with your affairs if you need any assistance in the future.  If you become mentally incapable of dealing with your affairs then your attorney can continue to assist you under the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

If you have not made a Lasting Power of Attorney and you become mentally incapable to make one in the future, through accident or illness, it may be necessary for an application to be made to the Court of Protection to appoint someone (known as a ‘Deputy’) to deal with your affairs. The application to the Court is complex and costly and you will not be able to choose your Deputy.

There are two types of LPA: Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare. The Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows the person or people you choose (your ‘Attorneys’) to deal with your finances such as your bank accounts and home, on your behalf.

The Health and Welfare LPA allows your Attorneys to make decisions about your medical treatment and care should you be unable to make these decisions yourself.   Your Attorneys can only use the Health and Welfare LPA should you lose mental capacity.

In order for your Attorneys to use the LPAs they must first be registered with a government body, the Office of the Public Guardian.

Wills

Making a Will is a vital part of planning for your future. It allows you to state how you wish all of your assets, which include your personal items, bank accounts, home, and  anything else which you own at your death, to be dealt with when you pass away. It is a common misconception that all assets pass automatically to the surviving members of your family if you do not leave a Will. Government legislation, The Intestacy Rules, dictate how your estate is dealt with if you do not leave a Will (known as dying ‘Intestate’), and this may not be in accordance with your wishes.

In order for your Will to be valid it must be properly drafted and executed. It is important to instruct experts to make your Will, who can also provide advice on inheritance tax planning and later life issues.

If you plan now, all the provisions will be in place for you and your family to give peace of mind and security for the future.

New Manifesto For Family Law

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Resolution launches Manifesto for Family Law

Resolution, which represents family justice professionals committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes, has called for sweeping changes to the laws surrounding divorce and separation with the launch of a new Manifesto for Family Law.

Resolution chair Jo Edwards said:

“Divorce can be one of the most traumatic life events a family can go through, and we all have a responsibility to ensure it’s dealt with in a way that minimises conflict, encourages amicable solutions where possible, and – most importantly – puts the needs of children first.

“The fact is that, despite the family justice system going through a period of huge transformation in recent years – not least with the devastating cuts to legal aid – the laws governing it are woefully outdated, inadequate and unfair to many people.

“With nearly a quarter of a million people getting divorced each year and around 100,000 children seeing their parents divorce, our laws are in desperate need of change.”

Resolution’s Manifesto makes six key calls for change.

It asks the next government to:

  1. Protect vulnerable people going through separation
  2. Introduce measures to keep divorce out of court
  3. Introduce a Parenting Charter to help parents understand their responsibilities when they separate
  4. Allow people to divorce without blame
  5. Help people understand how their divorce will affect their future finances
  6. Provide at least basic legal rights for couples who live together if they separate

 

Family Solicitor and Mediator Rebecca Kershaw is a long standing member of Resolution and the whole Family Department at Kenyon Son and Craddock supports their non-confrontational approach to family breakdown.

 

May 2015

 

Kenyon Son and Craddock supports new Parenting Charter

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Resolution, the organisation which represents family justice professionals committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes, has drawn up a new Parenting Charter, which sets out what children should be able to expect from their parents during and after their divorce.

“It’s not necessarily the fact of divorce itself that affects children, but any conflict that surrounds it. The way the current law around divorce is set up encourages conflict. Essentially people who are divorcing are stuck in a pincer, between emotional hurt and the loss of a relationship on one side, and a legal system that encourages recrimination and blame on the other,” explains Jo Edwards, Chair of Resolution.

She continues: “Parents can get caught up in the heat of the moment during divorce and start thinking of their former partner as the enemy, and not as the mother or father of their child. People often think about children’s interests in the sense of their material wellbeing – but it’s the emotional impact of seeing their parents in conflict that creates lasting psychological scars for children.”

Divorce can have repercussions that last for life

The Parenting Charter aims to remind divorcing or separating parents that children are individuals with their own rights to information and a voice during the separation process.

Resolution recently published the findings of a survey of young people whose parents had separated or divorced. The results show the extent of the impact of divorce conflict on children, with 14% of the young people surveyed saying that they started drinking alcohol, or drinking more alcohol than previously, as a result of their parents’ divorce. Arguably more concerning, 13% admitted to experimenting, or thinking about experimenting, with drugs as a result of their parents’ break-up. This emphasises how important it is to ensure that divorce is handled in a way that helps to mitigate the impact on children.

Jo Edwards says: “Ultimately, a high conflict divorce often sees children caught up in adult disputes. This can have repercussions for children that will last for life”.

Kenyon Son and Craddock’s Family Law department, will be supporting the use of the Charter in divorce cases at their Thorne and Goole offices. Please give us a call to discuss this further on 01405 813108 (Thorne) or 01405 720850 (Goole).

 

April 2015

 

Should I make a Will?

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The short answer is: yes.  By making a will you ensure that your property and possessions are dealt with in accordance with your wishes and that your loved ones are provided for on your death.

If you do not make a will the law intervenes and your estate will be distributed in accordance with the Statutory Rules of Intestacy.   The rules are inflexible and it is likely that your estate would be distributed in a way that you would not choose.  For example, if you are in a relationship, but not married or in a civil partnership, your partner will not be entitled to anything under the Statutory Rules of Intestacy.  Even if you are married or in a civil partnership your surviving spouse or civil partner is not guaranteed to benefit from all of your estate.

Despite this only three in ten people in the UK are said to have made a will.  Make sure that you are one of them and contact Kenyon Son & Craddock to take the first step to making your Will.

Sarah Littlewood

Wills & Probate

Family Law

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When Christine came to see me at Kenyon Son & Craddock, the first thing she said was, ‘I think I’m wasting your time.’

She went on to tell me that she had separated from her husband over a year ago because of his violence towards her and she very much wanted to be divorced, so she could finalise financial matters and move on with the rest of her life. She’d heard, though that Legal Aid wasn’t available any more and she couldn’t afford to pay privately for a divorce and financial settlement. She had tried to fill in the forms herself but because she was so upset about the way her marriage had ended she had given up.

I was able to explain that Legal Aid is still available for victims of domestic abuse and that it sounded as though she would be eligible. I worked out that Christine was financially eligible for Legal Aid and then helped her to approach her GP to obtain the necessary evidence of domestic abuse. When that came back from the doctor I was able to sign her up for Legal Aid to apply for the divorce and then to sort out a financial settlement. I was able to reassure Christine that if her husband started to threaten her again then I would be able to apply for a non – molestation order to protect her.

Legal Aid isn’t available for all cases any more (and you may have to repay your Legal Aid if you receive property or a lump sum) but Kenyon Son & Craddock assess every client to see if they may be eligible and even if they are not we will try and work out a package for them to make our costs affordable. Our aim is to make instructing a solicitor possible for as many people as we can.

 

Rebecca Kershaw

Family law

Proud to be a claimant Lawyer

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Anyone who has read a newspaper or switched on TV over the last few years could be forgiven for believing that, accident victims and, particularly their lawyers are responsible for most of the world’s ills. The so called “compensation culture” has been blamed for everything from the cancellation of school sports days to the current economic crisis. Accident victims are criticised for claiming the compensation they deserve and those that represent them are often labelled “ambulance chasers”.

Whilst these extreme examples may attract the headlines the reality is usually very different. The media debate is often misinformed and, in any event, wholly misses the point.

When someone has suffered injury through someone else’s fault or neglect then they should be entitled to be compensated for their loss. Why should the innocent victim be made to feel guilty about recovering their loss of earnings or other financial losses they have suffered as the result of another person’s fault? Surely it is the person who caused the accident that should bear the loss (usually through their insurers) rather than the innocent victim. After all compensation is about putting the injured person, so far as money can, back in the position they would have been in if the accident had not occurred. It is not about the victim being able to make a gain or profit from the accident.

All too often the rights of the injured individual are being overlooked in the ongoing media debate in favour of the large £multi-million insurance companies. This should never be allowed to happen.

We believe that the innocent individual’s rights must always be put first and we are proud to represent those unfortunate enough to find themselves in that position.

 

Tony Henshaw

Personal Injury