Hopefully all the firework events will have finished and it is not very long until Christmas, as evidenced by the TV adverts. Have you ordered your turkey yet?
This time of year is an occasion when there can be conflicts over the issue as to when children will see their parents and extended families and it is worth trying to resolve any problems now. Hopefully the Courts will not need to be involved but you would need time to make an application.
Involve the children
It is worth remembering children just want everyone to be happy and agree, even if it means they celebrate Christmas over a period of days. Keep the children involved in any plans.
You could write with proposals and mediation is also available to help resolve issues. Further information is available here: https://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/
Laura Atkinson can advise in these cases.
There can also be issues over taking children abroad at Christmas time. If there is an order saying the child can reside with one parent they can take the child abroad for up to 28 days without the consent of the other parent. If there is no order the parent needs to consent and if they do not consent it could be a criminal offence. There is useful information here: http://reunite.org/
Derek Parsons and Emma Bailey have experience in cases with an international element.
House buying and the uncertainty caused by the election and Brexit
We are all concerned as to the impact of the election and our exit from Europe on house prices. A recent article makes reference to this: https://www.theweek.co.uk/99725/brexit-house-prices-London-and-UK
The most important factor to consider when buying a house is that this is to be your home, so can you afford the mortgage, (taking into account any likely increase in interest rates, unless you have a fixed rate) does it satisfy your needs and requirements for the next few years and is it in an area where you want to be? If the property satisfies those criteria then these are the important factors.
Contact Alan Knight or Chris Jones for advice on the costs of buying a house or use our online calculator: https://www.easyconvey.com/onlinequotation/oliscripts/quickquote.asp?CallingURL=AccessLawLLP
Probate and Will Disputes
Although we do not deal with contentious probate claims we are increasingly finding families are in dispute over Wills. Interestingly this article said people in Southampton are more likely to contest Wills: https://www.todayswillsandprobate.co.uk/main-news/will-disputes-inheritance-feuds-increase/
Wendy Hewstone will guide you through writing a Will and discuss issues of claims that can be made and also how to prevent capacity concerns being raised. Ultimately you can leave your estate to whom you wish but you need to be aware of potential objections that can be raised and how Wills can be contested.
Often a Local Authority will bring an action for a Care case as there are concerns as to how the children are being looked after by their parents. It is sadly often the case that the children are then placed for adoption or placed in long term foster care. However, this is not always the case and we have had children return to live with their parents after full investigations have been made and the parents have made the appropriate lifestyle changes.
” FDAC is a problem-solving court approach to improving outcomes for children involved in care proceedings. It offers an alternative – and more successful – way of supporting parents to overcome the substance misuse, mental health and domestic abuse problems that have put their children at risk of serious harm. It offers parents optimism about recovery and change, combined with a realistic understanding of the immense challenge they face.”
This is not an easy option but we have been really impressed as to how parents have been able to turn their lives around and have their children remain with them.
Contact Ginnie Lambert or Rebecca Caws for further information or advice.