When children are involved, their welfare has to take priority and indeed under the Children Act 1989, their welfare is ‘Paramount’. We work with clients to find solutions to court proceedings and to minimise the impact of their parents’ separation upon the child/children. We also frequently act for grandparents and close family members in Children Act proceedings. Under recent Government reforms Legal Aid is no longer available for this area of work.
It is a sad fact of life that some children suffer abuse and/or neglect at the hands of their carers either willfully or due to the carer’s own personal circumstances. This often results in care proceedings being instigated by a Local Authority in order to protect the child/children. This type of proceedings is often distressing and confusing for those involved who need sensitive but expert advise. We have built up a dedicated and respected practice in this area of law and both partners are committed to this work. Michelle Newton is a member of the Children Panel, a select panel authorised to act on behalf of children in care proceedings Non-means tested and completely free Legal Aid is still automatically granted to all parents (and others with Parental Responsibility) where Care Proceedings are initiated by the Local Authority Unfortunately, the law of England & Wales, has yet to adequately protect Co-habiting couples when a dispute arises within their relationship, in particularly with regards to financial matters
There are many myths and old wives tales surrounding the well known term of ‘Common law husband / wife' and co-habitees often only realise their lack of financial protection when their relationship is over. We are able to advise non-married couples (including same sex couples) both before they enter into any financial arrangement or following a breakdown and have experience in dealing with what is commonly known as TLATA cases for property disputes. Due to the introduction of Civil Partnerships, same sex couples are now able to benefit from similar protection to a married couple when their relationship has broken down We are able to advise and assist civil partners in order to deal with the dissolution of the Partnership and distribution of assets, similar to when a married couple divorce.