If you are facing court proceedings it can be tempting to ‘go it alone’ and save on the costs of a solicitor. But this could increase the stress of the case and produce a worse outcome than if you had legal representation, according to research by charity Citizens Advice.
According to the report, the stress, responsibility and loneliness of going to court without representation can mean ‘litigants in person achieve worse outcomes compared with their represented counterparts’.
It also showed 90% of people who had acted for themselves found the experience negatively affected their health, relationships, work or finances. Some lost their jobs due to the pressure, while others got into debt due to court issues, including paying for photocopying and travelling to and from court.
The charity said the rise in litigants in person was mainly due to clients being unable to afford a lawyer due to reduced funding for those going to the family court following the implementation of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) in 2013.
The charity said it was only after people had been through the process of going to the family court on their own that they realised the value of having a lawyer, with 70% saying that instructing a professional would have benefited their court experience.
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: ‘For people representing themselves in the family courts, whether in a divorce case or to keep the legal right to see their children, the workload to prepare can be unmanageable. The stress of making your case against qualified barristers and navigating complex court processes without the right guidance can make existing mental and physical health problems worse.’
Here at Kenyon Son and Craddock we aim to help you through each step of the court process. We provide fee packages to suit you, so that you can pay a fixed fee or an hourly rate for the work you want us to do. Give us a call on 012405 813108 to see how we can help and take away some of the stress of court proceedings.
Family Mediation can help you work out what you are going to do about making arrangements for your children and dividing the family finances. Call Rebecca on 01405 813108 for an informal chat about how mediation can help you.
Taking place from 11-15 January 2016, Family Mediation Week aims to raise awareness of mediation and how it can help separating families manage their issues collaboratively and productively. As family mediators, Kenyon Son and Craddock are happy to support and promote Family Mediation Week and will be offering free mediation information sessions to any clients who quote ‘Family Mediation Week’ when arranging their appointment.
Our Family Mediation page on the website gives information about our service and answers some frequently asked questions, or call Rebecca Kershaw on 01405 813108 and quote the reference ‘Family Mediation Week’.
Our Christmas opening hours are as follows:
Friday 18th December – 9am to 3pm
Closed Thursday 24th, Friday 25th and Monday 28th December.
Open Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th December 9am to 5pm.
Closed Thursday 31st December and Friday 1st January.
Open as usual from 9am Tuesday 4th January.
KENYON SON AND CRADDOCK WISH ALL OUR CLIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Sarah Littlewood and Rebecca Kershaw were pleased to show Kenyon Son and Craddock’s commitment to being a Dementia Friendly firm by attending the Doncaster Dementia Action Alliance meeting recently. To become members of the Alliance we had to prepare an action plan demonstrating how we tailor our services to the needs of clients with dementia and how we are training our staff to be dementia friendly. It was interesting to meet with other organisations in the Alliance and to learn about the work which is going on in Doncaster to help meet the needs of those with dementia and their carers.
We can help with Lasting Powers of Attorney, Will and Court of Protection cases. For more information or to arrange an appointment please give Sarah a ring on 01405 813 108 (Thorne) or 01924 566111 (Wakefield)
05 Nov 2015
New data from the Office for National Statistics confirming that unmarried couples living together are the fastest growing family type in the UK is further proof that the law on cohabitation needs to catch up with modern British society, says family law organisation Resolution.
Cohabiting couples currently have little legal protection when they separate. Lawyer Graeme Fraser, Resolution’s spokesman on cohabitation law, explains:
“Under current cohabitation law it’s possible to live with someone for decades and even to have children together and then simply walk away without taking any responsibility for a former partner when the relationship breaks down. This can have a huge impact on women and children, particularly in cases where a mother has given up or reduced her work to raise a family.”
According to the ONS Families and Households survey, released 5 November 2015, there are now 3.1 million opposite sex cohabiting couple families, which has increased from 14% of all families in 2005 to 17% in 2015. 41% of all opposite sex cohabiting couple families have dependent children in the household, this figure having increased as a result of the average age at first marriage being higher (30.3 years) than the average age of women at the birth of their first child (28.3 years). Same sex cohabiting couple families have also increased to 90,000 in 2015.
Graeme Fraser comments:
“These statistics should be regarded by policymakers as a wake-up call that cohabitation is a trend of modern society that is not going to go away. As family lawyers who see the damage caused by the lack of protection for cohabiting couples when they separate, Resolution calls for the urgent introduction of safety net legislation providing legal protection and fair outcomes at the time of a couple’s separation, particularly for children and mothers left vulnerable under the existing law.”
He continues: “In light of the latest ONS data it will be interesting to see Parliament’s reaction to the Cohabitation Rights Bill tabled by Lord Marks, which is currently in its early stages.”
Earlier this year Resolution released its Manifesto for Family Law calling for the introduction of some rights for cohabiting couples when they separate. Research in 2013 from relationships charity One Plus One shows that almost half (47%) of the British public believe in the myth of “common law marriage”, the notion that cohabiting couples have similar legal rights to married people.
Article from Resolution Media Centre 5.11.15
I’d just like to say a big thank you to everybody at Kenyon Son and Craddock who have so generously donated food and clothing to the refugee appeal. I have already taken two car boot loads to the collection centre and have another load ready to go. I also spent a morning helping to sort the donations which have come from the whole Doncaster area and was overwhelmed by the amount of clothes, sleeping bags, camping gear and food which has been donated for the refugees. A very large van was needed to take everything to the depot at Leeds from where it will be distributed to those in most need.
Kenyons will carry on collecting for as long as the appeal remains open. Again many thanks for your generosity.
Here at Kenyon Son and Craddock, Solicitors in Thorne, Goole and Wakefield, we are doing our bit to help the refugee crisis by supporting Doncaster Solidarity with Calais Refugees. Joanne Poynton from the Wakefield office and Rebecca Kershaw from Thorne were so upset by the pictures of desperate people on their TV screens every night that they felt they had to do something to help and the whole firm soon got on board.
We are collecting items most needed by the refugees stranded in Calais and taking them to a local drop off point in Thorne from where they will become part of the Doncaster wide effort to provide support. We welcome donations of the following: Socks, wellies, hoodies, jeans, t-shirts, hats gloves and scarves, sleep bags, tents, blankets, shaving foam, flour, sugar, rice, pasta, tinned goods.
Literally, compensation is the last (and most important) thing that we deal with in any case. The compensation that we recover for our clients provides them with the financial security they require following a life changing accident. The purpose is to put them back, so far as money can, in the position they would have been in had the accident not occurred. It can be used for items such as wheelchairs, changes to the home or vehicles, to cover a lifetime’s loss or reduction in earnings and to pay for professional care and private medical treatment.
However, it is not, by any means, the only thing we do.
When we are first approached by someone who has suffered a life changing accident the most important thing we can do is to listen. It’s not until we fully understand their particular circumstances that we can use our skill and expertise to find the perfect solution. We then carry out a full assessment and prepare a detailed case plan designed to get the injured person’s life back on track as soon as possible and protect their long term future.
If there’s likely to be any dispute as to who was responsible for the accident, it is essential that we resolve this issue without delay. By doing so we provide peace of mind for the injured person knowing that they will ultimately receive fair and just compensation for the injuries and financial loss they have suffered.
We will then arrange an immediate needs assessment to consider what care is required in the short term and what steps can be taken to start the rehabilitation process. We can also request upfront payments to cover any ongoing loss of earnings and avoid unnecessary financial pressure being put on the injured person and their family. At this stage we will also be liaising with medical and other experts to put the recommended steps in place and start the process of getting the client’s life back on track.
Once the immediate concerns have been dealt with and a rehabilitation plan has been put in place, we can get to work, assessing the full extent of the injuries and financial implications. Depending on the circumstances of the case, this can take some time as we arrange the necessary medical and other expert reports to provide us with the evidence that we need. We continue to monitor progress throughout, making any necessary adjustments to the case plan and, where recommendations are made, ensuring that they are implemented without delay.
It is only when the long term effects of the injury and its financial implications are fully understood that we can move to the final stage of the process which is to ensure that the injured person receives full and just compensation. That is the last thing we do!!!
The cost of getting divorced is to rise by about a third after the government announced increased court fees.
From later this year, husbands or wives who want to end their marriage will pay £550 in England and Wales, a rise of £140.
It will still be possible to apply for a fee exemption if you are able to prove you are on a low income. If that doesn’t apply to you and you have been planning to start a divorce you may wish to consider starting the process before the fee rise comes into effect. There is no definite date yet but it will be before the end of the year.
If you would like more information about our fixed fee divorce packages please contact us for a no obligation chat:
Thorne office- 01405 813108
Goole office – 01405 720850
Rebecca Kershaw July 2015