Legal Aid - Waste of Money?

By Paul Hunt at 00:00

There has recently been some publicity in the press regarding the case of the man who was convicted of killing his child and the sum of 2 million pounds of Legal Aid money is said to have been wasted on legal fees in representing him. Firstly, I understand that the amount involved was not in fact 2 million pounds but it was still a very substantial sum of money.

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Is it time for a Cohabitation Reform?

By Paul Hunt at 00:00

The latest round of statistics in marriage versus cohabitation appear to indicate that almost 10% of the adult population are now living together in a relationship that does not involve marriage. Co-habitation has a long way to go to catching up with marriage as the same statistics appear to indicate that more than half of people aged 16 or over are living as part of a married couple. The gap however is slowing closing.

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In December 2015, a significant change in law was introduced making it a criminal offence to engage in controlling/coercive behaviour in an intimate/family relationship.

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The Government has announced a 34% increase in the Court fee to issue a divorce petition, which will come into effect from Monday 21st March. This will see the fee rise from from £410 to £550. This is not a matter of a few pounds but a very significant impact upon the budget of a client who is seeking to start divorce proceedings.

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In July 2015 it was announced that there would be a consultation regarding the proposed closures of 91 courts in England and Wales. That consultation has now come to an end and the result was published on the 11th February 2016. Unfortunately, the outcome is that 86 of the proposed 91 courts are to close. Following the consultation - five courts in the Merseyside and Cheshire area will close.

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