Director Razia Jogi

Forced Marriage: Sentencing of convicted parents due this month



By Razia Jogi, Director & Solicitor, Joint Head of Family Law After much campaigning, forced marriage became a criminal offence in June 2014. Campaigners were of the hope and belief that by making forced marriage a criminal offence it would send “a powerful message” and give victims the confidence to come forward. The first ever forced marriage conviction that followed ...
 
Toby Netting Family Solicitor

Owens v Owens – when “Allegro” means slow



By Toby Netting, Solicitor & Head of Family Law Sheffield The 17th May saw five Supreme Court Judges being asked to decide if Tini Owens can divorce her husband Hugh Owens. The couple have been married for over 40 years and Mrs Owens wants to bring the marriage to an end; her husband does not. He defended her divorce petition, ...
 

First Impressions: New BBC drama “The Split”



By Clare Peckett, Director & Solicitor, Family Law Department The world portrayed by the new BBC drama The Split and the legal world of Wakefield, seem to those of us working in Wakefield a million miles apart. In many ways they are, but one of the city’s own daughters Annabel Scholey is playing one of the principal characters, Nina Defoe. ...
 

Domestic abuse sentencing guidelines updated



By Clare Peckett, Director & Solicitor, Family Law Department In recent years, alongside increasing social awareness around domestic abuse issues, it has been a relief to see that there has also been progress within the justice system towards understanding the ways that domestic abuse is perpetrated and its prevalence in society.  The Crown Prosecution Service recently revealed shocking statistics which show that: Domestic ...
 
Clare Peckett Head of Family Law

Women’s Aid Femicide Census findings published



By Clare Peckett, Director & Solicitor, Family Law Department According to the recently published Femicide Census report, a total of 113 women were killed by men in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2016. Shockingly, 90% of these victims were murdered by someone they knew. Domestic violence charity Women’s Aid describes femicide as “the murder of women because they are women”, however, ...
 
Clare Peckett Head of Family Law

Domestic violence legal aid reforms



By Clare Peckett, Director & Solicitor, Family Law Department In January 2018, government reforms will come into force to ease restrictions on legal aid for victims of domestic abuse. The changes mean that from next year, people who have suffered domestic violence will find it easier to access legal support in family law proceedings. Currently, to qualify for legal aid, domestic violence victims ...
 
Family Mediator Andrew Baines

Switalskis Family Mediation service now offers child inclusive mediation



By Andrew Baines, Solicitor & Family Mediator I am pleased to announce that I’m now able to offer child inclusive mediation. This is an important expansion of the service offered by our Family Mediation team and here I will explain why we have chosen to offer child inclusive mediation to those coming to mediation. Child Inclusive Mediation Throughout my time in practice as ...
 
Ranjit Uppal

Can Asians adopt in England and Wales?



By Ranjit Uppal, Director & Solicitor Advocate The simple answer is, yes, of course they can. However, very recently Sandeep and Rena Manda were told by Adopt Berkshire that White British or European Applicants would be given preference in the adoption process as they only had white children who needed to be placed for adoption. The agency therefore refused to ...
 
Clare Peckett Head of Family Law

Domestic abuse recognised as government priority in Queen’s speech



By Clare Peckett, Director & Solicitor, Family Law Department Domestic abuse legislation is to be introduced by the government after many years of public authorities failing to recognise domestic abuse as a serious situation worthy of their consideration. There appears to finally be the political will to address matters. It would be expected that all political parties would broadly support ...
 

Over a third of co-habiting couples overestimate their rights



By Clare Peckett, Director, Solicitor & Head of Family Law A recent YouGov survey of 1000 co-habiting couples has found that more than a third of them didn’t realise that they do not have the same legal rights as their married counterparts. As far as financial matters are concerned, being married makes all the difference to your situation. Whilst the ...