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Thursday 16th July, 2020

Thinking of selling part of your land?

Do you own a piece of land and are you in a position to sell part of it? When it comes to selling land there can be a premium on it, especially when the location of the land is right. Selling on your land can be a very attractive proposition, but that I only if you have seriously considered everything first.

It is not uncommon to find that titles to land are subject to existing restrictions and covenants which may then prevent the building of more than one property or it can require the consent of a third party before any development of the land can take place.

Lenders consent to the sale

If you have a mortgage secured on the title of your land, but you do not plan to redeem this in full, then it is important that you obtain your lenders consent to the sale.

You may find that obtaining consent will become time consuming, so it is recommended to do this as early as possible to prevent further delays.

Surveyors plan

When selling off land it is important to have a plan which demonstrates the full extent of the land being sold as well as the land that you plan to retain.

When it comes to using a plan it needs to be Land Registry compliant otherwise it could be rejected upon registration which can cause unnecessary delays and expenses. To save you time it is always best to consult with a surveyor to draw up a plan on your behalf as they will be up to date with the requirements set out by the Land Registry.

New restrictions and covenants

When selling your land you may wish to consider whether you plan to impose any new restrictions or covenants on the proposed purchaser of the land. The new restrictions that you propose could include preventing use of the land in a particular way, or to carry out specified activities that could cause disruption or damage to the land.

At CP Law Associates we have a dedicated team in our residential property department who will be able to assist you with selling your private land to ensure the process is fast and compliant. If you would like to find out more about this service please contact us today.


Thursday 2nd July, 2020

Coronavirus job retention scheme: furlough fraud

In March 2020, the Government released information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, a Scheme to support businesses who would most likely have to make their employees redundant if it wasn't for this scheme.

What is it?

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is also known as the furlough scheme refers to a temporary leave of absence from work. The scheme was initially open until 30th May 2020, but the scheme was then extended to 30 June 2020 and then further extended to October 2020.

How can furlough become fraud?

Furlough fraud includes the following:

  • When an employer asks an employee to work for them as a volunteer without paying them
  • Putting an employee on furlough without notifying the employee and the employee then continues to work as normal

There will also be other examples of furloughing staff and these include:

  • Putting staff on furlough and then not paying them what they are owed under CJRS
  • Employers may also pretend to hire staff shortly prior to the qualifying period for furlough which means they are then able to take advantage of the Government support
  • Not paying the full amount received from HMRC to the employee

On the .GOV.UK site, HMRC have made it very clear that they will be checking claims in relation to CJRS and if payments are made under the scheme are found to be fraudulent then the monies paid out will need to be repaid.

HMRC have opened a portal for furlough Fraud you can view it here.

How can CP Law Associates help?

Since the furlough scheme was announced, the team at CP Law Associates have been advising employers on how to ensure that when furloughing employees the right steps are taken in accordance with the rules and guidance. We’ve also noticed a surge in insolvency advice and this is because employers are starting to realise that they will struggle to survive once furlough ends.

If you are concerned that you as a business may have committed furlough fraud, or you are an employee that has been instructed to work whilst on furlough and are looking for advice please get in contact with CP Law Associates today.


Wednesday 24th June, 2020

I'm a business owner and can't afford to pay my rent for the business premises, what can my landlord do?

Coronavirus (COVID 19) has had a massive impact on nearly all types of business across the UK. It has brought on a whole new set of challenges for businesses across the Globe. Here in the UK it specifically effected many businesses because they were told to close to the Government guidance.

If you are one of many businesses in the UK that has had to close your business premises, which means that your business has had to shut down too, then you may be experiencing some cash flow problems and may find yourself unable to afford to pay rent for your business premises.

Are landlords able to take action against commercial tenants if they are unable to pay rent?

The likely action landlords decide on taking when a commercial tenant is unable to make timely rent payments is forfeiture, which effectively means to terminate the lease. To ensure this didn't happen to many businesses across the UK, the Government put in measures to protect commercial tenants from eviction during the Coronavirus crisis. The Coronavirus bill included a moratorium on the forfeiture of business tenancies for three months. This supports the business during the Coronavirus crisis by making sure that the landlord is unable to terminate a business tenancy due to non payment of rent until the 30th June 2020.

What does the moratorium state?

A right of re-entry or forfeiture, under a relevant business tenancy, for non-payment of rent may not be enforced, by action or otherwise, during the relevant period.

This moratorium is only valid for non payment of the tenants rent and it still gives landlords to forfeit the tenancy on other grounds.

What happens once the moratorium ends?

When the moratorium expires, the landlord can then forfeit the lease for the non payment of rent by what is known as peaceful re-admission, this is where the landlord attends the property to empty it and change the locks.

If your landlord chooses the option of forfeiture, then this will bring your lease to an immediate termination.

What other action can a landlord take? Though the proposed moratorium will prevent a landlord enforcing a right to forfeiture, a landlord might still take the following enforcement action:

  • Issue proceedings against a commercial tenant for recovery of rent arrears
  • Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) to seize goods from the property
  • Insolvency proceedings against a commercial tenant due to rent arrears

So what will happen if you are unable to pay your commercial rent?

If your business is in a position where it is going to be hard to make future rent payments then it is best to discuss this with your landlord.

It may be in your landlord's best interest to hold on to their current tenants as the economic impact of coronavirus is undetermined.

If you are a tenant and you are struggling to pay your landlord your business rent then please contact CP Law Associates.


Thursday 11th June, 2020

Do you have a property protection plan in place?

If you have been fortunate to find happiness through marriage the second time round, you and your new partner may be keen to protect any of your assets after you have passed away, to ensure that any children from any previous relationships an benefit from your respective wealth.

Or, your concern may be that when you pass away, you want to make sure that your partner has the security of living in the marital home, for the duration of their lifetime. To make sure that either of these scenarios are able to happen it is important to speak with a lawyer to create a well drafted property protection trust, this will ensure your assets are protected as well as looking after one and other once either of you has passed away.

A property protection trust acts as a legal mechanism and is contained within a last will and testament. The testator's share of a property is held in trust for the purpose of allowing any current occupant to continue residing in the property whilst making sure that the capital value is protected for the benefit of others. The trust will allow the surviving partner to reside in the marital home until their death and then pass the property onto any beneficiaries.

Benefits of a property protection trust

A property protection trust provides peace of mind for you and your spouse as it guarantees a home for you to live in upon the other persons' death, as well as ensuring that your children will still eventually benefit from your estate.

It is important to note though that through a property protection trust the deceased share in any property is protected in the event of the surviving spouse remarrying. It also protects the deceased share of the marital home from being factored into calculations for the long term care of a surviving partner.

If you have just remarried, it is important to ensure that you have revised your will, as a second marriage may invalidate the existing will. The benefit of revisiting your will is it will protect everyone involved and is a good opportunity to revise any arrangements previously made. It is important to note that putting a standard will in place will not always be sufficient enough, even if you and your spouse each leave everything to the other.

Without a property protection trust there is no guarantee that your wealth will be distributed as you had planned. Therefore it is important to seek legal advice, on setting up a property protection trust properly. Please contact CP Law Associates if you are looking for advice on setting up a property protection trust.


Wednesday 3rd June, 2020

Can I request for my financial court order to be changed, due to COVID 19?

As the lockdown eases and the UK begins to slowly approach a 'new normal' there have been questions asked on whether the impact of coronavirus gives the right for a person to request for the family court to change a financial court order. In today's blog we will look at the rights that you have if you were looking to change your financial order from the court, due to COVID 19.

Many people think that once they receive a financial court order, there is not much they can do in their power to change things. However, some aspects of a financial court order can be changed if you were to make a variation application. Examples of when you can apply to vary a financial court order include:

  • Applying to increase or reduce the amount of spousal maintenance payments
  • Apply to stop spousal maintenance payments altogether
  • Applying to extend the length of time that spousal maintenance payments are paid for
  • You can apply to end or vary a school fees order so that you are no longer required to pay school fees or the order is changed to vary the percentage amount of the school fees you are required to pay under the order
  • Applying to the court for them to change the mechanics for the sale of a family home if the financial court order included an order that states the family home should be sold

The above are the types of clauses contained in a financial court order that can be changed either by making an agreement with your ex partner or by making an application to vary specific clauses that are within the financial court order.

COVID 19 and financial court orders

COVID 19 has created huge economic and financial impact so it is no surprise that people are wanting to make changes to their financial court order and want to know if they can apply to change the following:

  • The order to transfer a family home into the sole name of their ex partner as the ex spouse is unable to secure a mortgage to take over the mortgage liability, so instead they are looking to sell the family home
  • The family may have seen a drop of value in investments or a family business so they are looking for an order that would see the amount of a lump sum payment reduced to reflect reduction in the value of overall family assets
  • An order that on the sale of the family home the ex partner will get a fixed amount from the equity in the family home and the ex spouse will get the balance of the equity

There are of course lots of other examples of situations where a spouse will look to change a financial court order.

The court rules say that although you can apply to vary or make changes to some parts of a financial court order, you cannot apply to the court to change any capital elements of the financial court order unless you do the following:

  • Appeal against the financial court order
  • Apply to make changes to the financial court order because of a Barder event – a 'Barder event' is where something happens shortly after an order is made which undermines the basis of the order itself. It is named after the very distressing case of Barder v Barder (Caluori intervening), which was decided in 1988.

For COVID 19 to be considered a Barder event it would be determined by a judge using guidance that is issued in earlier court of appeal decisions.

It is reminiscent of 2008, when the court of appeal decided that the global financial crisis could not be considered a Barder event because markets fall and rise, which would give an indication of the stock market crash. However, many would argue that the global pandemic of COVID 19 which wiped billions off the value of the stock market was not foreseeable at the end of 2019.

In the coming months we will have more understanding on the impact of COVID 19 on family business value and the value of assets foe businesses to be able to see if COVID 19 will be treated as a Barder event and whether this in turn means that you are able to request for the court to change your financial court order.

If you are looking for information on this matter, please contact us at [email protected].


Tuesday 5th May, 2020

Debt Recovery and Possessions: How CP Law Associates can help you

If you are an individual, a small business or a large business, we know how important payment or recovery of your possessions can be, we also understand that it can be terribly time consuming.

At CP Law Associates, we are debt recovery specialists and we can offer a efficient debt recovery service to you. We have a team of staff who are experts in their field and will be able to help you through the debt recovery process.

We understand that a small recovery of £500 which could be classed as a simple procedure claim can sometimes become as legally complicated as a claim much larger than that sum. Some firms may turn a small claim like this away. We won't turn you away even if the sum is small. We are able to advise on all levels of claims and direct you to the best time and cost solution.

At CP Law Associates, what matters to you, matters to us. If you are looking for expert legal advice on debt recovery and possessions please get in touch:


Wednesday 29th April, 2020

Landlords: Have you got insurance?

The property buy to let market continues to thrive as being a landlord is an investment that can often offer good returns. However, it can also get quite expensive when things start to go wrong. It can then begin to start eating into healthy profits and essentially start to leave you out of pocket. So it is important to ask yourself – do you have the right insurance? Having the right insurance can ensure that when things to start to go wrong, you are able to still have a healthy return.

So, what time of insurance should landlords consider?

Buildings Insurance

Buildings insurance will cover the cost of repairing or replacing damage to your properties, for example your house catching fire or flooding. Some building insurance also covers permanent fixtures such as kitchen units and bathroom suites. Building insurance is not a legal requirement for landlords but it is normally a condition of a buy to let mortgage.

Emergency home cover

This type of cover means that if you have problems such as a gas leak or burst water pipe you are able to get it fixed straight away. Having this insurance and getting things fixed right away means that your property is not rendered uninhabitable for an extended period.

Contents insurance

When you're a landlord, your tenants are responsible for their own possessions, however you may still want contents insurance to protect things that belong to you and may still be in the property, for example your carpets.

Liability insurance

This type of insurance covers you if a tenant is injured in your property and decides to sue you as a result. This is usually a requirement for student and social housing.

Legal expenses insurance

There are a number of legal disputes that landlords may end up in, including arguments over rent or deposits. Having this type of insurance can help you cover the cost of taking legal action or defending yourself if you do have legal action brought against you.

If you are a landlord and looking for advice on landlord insurance please contact us today:


Tuesday 28th April, 2020

What are the requirements for writing a Will?

It has been reported that in the last two months there has been a surge in demand for will writing. Making a will is one of the most important ways that you can plan for the future to ensure that your final wishes are respected. In England and Wales you are able to have complete freedom to leave money and property to whomever you may choose. But in order to for your wishes to be followed your will must adhere to some strict legal requirements.

What are the requirements for a valid Will?

When making your Will, it is important to note that it is a legal document which must be executed in a specific way to be valid:

  • Your will must be signed by the testator (you) and also in the presence of two witnesses
  • It must be in writing
  • The two witnesses must sign the Will in the presence of the testator

Within the Will, witnesses and their married partners should not be named as beneficiaries. It is important to note that if a named beneficiary is also a witness or the witnesses and their married partners should not be named in the Will as beneficiaries. If a named beneficiary is also a witness or the married partner of a witness it does not invalidate the will, but they are unable to inherit.

The testator must also be over 18 years old.

But what happens if a Will is invalid?

If the testator has not set out the steps to ensure their Will is valid. Then the estate will either be distributed according to the testator's last valid Will, or according to the Rules of Intestacy if there is no previous Will.

Under the Rules of Intestacy, the testator's spouse or civil partner will inherit the entirety of the estate, unless they had children (including adopted children), in which case, the spouse/civil partner will inherit the first £250,000 of the estate, all the testator's personal belongings, and half of the remaining estate. The other half of the remainder will be divided equally between the children.

Unmarried partners unfortunately cannot inherit under the Rules of Intestacy.

It is important when considering writing a Will that you seek expert Will writing advice.


Monday 6th April, 2020

COVID – 19 New Insolvency laws during the virus

Saturday the 28th March was met with even more announcements for businesses in relation to the COVID – 19 crisis. Business Secretary Alok Sharma announced changes to the insolvency regime to continue to answer to the Governments overriding objective in helping the UK companies that need to undergo a financial rescue or restructuring process, to keep trading. The announcement by Alok Sharma gives these firms extra time and space to weather the storm and be ready when the crisis ends whilst ensuring at the same time, creditors get the best return possible in the circumstances.

The changes to the insolvency regime announced by Mr Sharma include:

  • a moratorium for companies giving them breathing space from creditors enforcing their debts for a period of time whilst they seek a rescue or restructure;
  • protection of their supplies to enable them to continue trading during the moratorium;
  • a new restructuring plan, binding creditors to that plan;
  • key safeguards for creditors and suppliers to ensure they are paid while a solution is sought; and
  • a temporary suspension of wrongful trading provisions with retrospective effect from 1 March 2020 to give company directors greater confidence to use their best endeavours to continue to trade during this pandemic emergency without the threat of personal liability should the company ultimately fall into insolvency.

Supplying to businesses

So far, it seems like the Government will extend the existing essential supplies regime under sections 233 and 233A of the Insolvency Act 1986, this proposal was made by the City of London Law Society. Currently, insolvency provisions prevent suppliers for utilities, in respect of gas, water electricity and other goods where the sole purpose of that supply is for the business to be able to function or facilitating anything to be done electronically, from terminating or threatening to terminate supply under a supply contract unless the business pays its arrears.

Wrongful trading

Directors have expressed concern of personal liability for wrongful trading during the Coronavirus crisis.

Wrongful trading is a statutory offence under section 214 Insolvency Act 1986. Once a company's directors conclude, or should have concluded, that there is no reasonable prospect of the company avoiding an insolvent liquidation or administration, they have a duty to take every step which a reasonably diligent person would take to minimise potential loss to the company's creditors. A director failing to comply with this duty can be ordered to contribute to the company's assets.

This section, means directors who continue to trade when they know, or it is believed they should have known that their company becoming insolvent then put themselves at risk of being held personally liable for its debts. Suspending this section due to the Coronavirus crisis is to ensure that businesses can continue to trade through during this crisis.

There are also announcements to follow on an extension to moratorium protection for companies that are currently undergoing the restructuring process, enabling companies with more flexibility during COVID 19.


Tuesday 31st March, 2020

Employment Law Update in Relation to Coronavirus

The following is knowledge known to the public, which at time of writing is up to date. However, the Coronavirus crisis is a rapidly ever changing situation, therefore employment law and many other regulations are being updated regularly.

When should I self isolate?

Self isolation is necessary when:

  • You develop symptoms of the virus (high temperature, consistent cough)
  • You share a house hold with someone showing symptoms
  • You have been instructed to self isolate by your doctor or the 111 service

If someone in your household has symptoms all of those living in the household have to self isolate for 14 days.

Employees should inform their employer as soon as possible of their absence and indicate how long they will be absent from work.

Absence due to coronavirus and rights to pay

  • Employees who are self isolating and working at home should be paid as normal. This includes those that are stuck abroad but able to work.
  • Employees who are told to stay at home by their employer despite being able to work and willing to work, are in effect being suspended and therefore paid as normal.
  • Voluntary self isolation (not under Government guidance) is more likely to be unpaid
  • Statutory Sick Pay following Regulations announced by the Chancellor on 11 March is payable to:
    - Individuals who have the virus
    - Individuals who have symptoms related to the virus
    - Individuals who have to self-isolate because someone in their home has symptoms of the virus
    - Individuals who have been told to self-isolate by NHS 111 or their GP
  • There is no statutory right at this stage for paid time off to look after a third-party. Therefore parents or people caring for other dependent relatives can only request unpaid leave for an unexpected event or emergency. The amount of time has to be reasonable and it might be that additional time is allowed as part of their holiday allowance.
  • Government advice issued on 12 March was that those self-isolating with minor symptoms should not call their GP or NHS 111. They will therefore not be able to provide evidence for the first week of absence. Employers cannot request evidence for this first week of absence.
  • Regulations are anticipated which will allow SSP to be paid from the first day of absence.
  • Company Sick Pay policies usually require medical evidence. Due to the above, employees may struggle to obtain this and we suggest employers are flexible in their policies for evidential requirements.
  • The self-employed are not entitled to SSP and will not be entitled to receive payments from their contracting businesses if they are required to self-isolate or become ill from the virus.

Work closure

The current advice is that there is no need to close any work place unless advised to by the relevant Public Health Authority (PHA) but if a work place does have to close:

  • Staff should work from home where possible and companies should begin planning for this now
  • Paperwork tasks can be available for those that do not need to access a laptop

Lay offs and short time working

Some employment contracts for some businesses include lay off provisions. Unless this is specifically set out in their contract, employers have the right to work and therefore should be paid for this time.

There are two separate provisions to look for: the right to lay-off or reduce hours and, separately, arrangements for pay in these circumstances.

If this looks like an option, employers should consult with staff before taking any steps. We strongly recommend employers take specific legal advice before implementing lay-offs or short-time working.

Holiday

Employers are able to ask employees to use their holiday at certain times, but there are notice requirements for this.

Staff should be told in advance by at least twice the number of proposed days. For example if you ask your staff to take off 5 days they should be told 10 days in advance.

Staff can be asked to voluntarily use their holiday at this time however.

Becoming unwell in the workplace

If someone becomes unwell in the workplace they should:

  • get at least 2 metres (7 feet) away from other people
  • go to a room or area behind a closed door, such as a sick bay or staff office
  • avoid touching anything
  • cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, or if they do not have tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow
  • use a separate bathroom from others, if possible

The unwell person should either:

  • use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service
  • call 111, for NHS advice
  • call 999, if they're seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk

It's best for the unwell person to use their own mobile phone or computer to access these services.

Future business planning

Businesses will go through great difficulty within the next few months and it will be difficult for employees too. At the moment, there is no prediction as to how bad Coronavirus will affect the economy.

We strongly recommend that businesses keep themselves up to date with the latest Government updates via the Government site, to see how this may affect your business.

Government site

Please contact CP Law if you have any questions regarding the above information.


Monday 30th March, 2020

5 Financial Aspects to Consider Before Separation

If you and your partner are considering separating, it is essential to ensure that your finances are one of the top priorities within your separation process.

Many of our clients at CP Law Associates take advice from us in advance of their separation. They are keen to know the practical steps that they can take to protect themselves and also their assets. Talking with a solicitor helps a person prepare and familiarise themselves with what to expect practically and financially.

Here are five things to consider before committing to separation:

Joint banking

When a separation occurs either party can be 100% liable for the money owed. It is important that when you have discussed divorcing with your partner that you also contact your bank or loan provider informing them of your divorce, in order to protect your credit rating.

If you are concerned about your partner accessing and spending in the account without discussing it with you, you are able to freeze your account, but bear in mind that whilst one of you can ask for the account to be frozen, both of you have to sign for the account to be unfrozen.

Capital Gains Tax

When thinking of going through a divorce it is worthwhile considering the implications of divorce on Capital Gains Tax. It is important to note that we are lawyers and we are not tax advisors, therefore we can't advise on CGT but instead we can alert our clients to when there may be an issue.

When a married couple (or civil partners) are living together, any properties transferred from one to the other pass CGT free. When a couple separate, this relief from CGT is extended but only until the end of the tax year of separation. After that the relief is lost. The CGT relief for spouses is therefore only available for a short time. This is a particular issue if a couple separate near to 5 April, when it can be impractical to expect agreement to be reached in time to avoid the CGT.

The family home

When it comes to the question of 'who will get the family home?' There is no right or wrong, or straight forward answer, there is no such thing as a standard split of assets when it comes to the family home. It comes down to the circumstances of the divorce and not always the legal ownership or the person that has paid most of the mortgage payments.

If an agreement can be made between you and your partner then a separation agreement should be enough to reach a decision on the family home.

However, that is not always the case, if that isn't the case for you and your partner then you are able to apply for the courts to decide for you.

The court can impose financial remedies to split the assets and can base the decision on many things including:

  • The age of each spouse
  • The length of the marriage
  • The value of assets, both before, during and after the marriage – this can also include pensions
  • The earning capacity of each spouse and their responsibilities during the marriage (such as child-rearing) and in the future

How long will it take to get divorced?

On average it takes a couple around 6 months to become divorced. If there are any delays it tends to be around:

  • The other party taking slightly longer to reach agreements by being deliberately difficult or has misconceived notions about the process or entitlement
  • The other party is receiving poor legal advice
  • There are complex financial assets that may require the need for a forensic accountant

Own a business?

If you are in a situation where you and your partner have built a business together over the years, it is firstly important to establish what value should be attributed to the business interests and secondly how the value of the asset will be shared between both parties. A valuations expert may be required and will help to give an understanding on certain aspects including whether money can be withdrawn from the business in-order to pay the other party without having to liquidate the business.

If you are considering separating with your partner, or require any advice on the above issues please contact CP Law Associates on:

Guildford office 01483 230322

Or visit www.cplawassociates.co.uk

We offer a free initial consultation.


Tuesday 17th July, 2018

Dealing with the Emotional Crisis of Divorce

As a Clinical Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist I have seen many people going through the emotional rollercoaster of divorce. Clients often go through phases of feeling anger, guilt, a sense of failure and even grief. Beyond is the hope of eventually moving on to feelings of relief, freedom and happiness but for too many people these emotional states stay as just hopes, not reality.

In my private practice in Guildford (Surrey Psychotherapy) we focus on helping clients through this challenging transition, to manage the emotional rollercoaster and eventually to try and bring the emotional hopes to a reality. Examples of specifics we focus on include;

  • Changing your Mind Set - this involves a change in perceptions to move to more positive view, no matter what you are going through. I stand by the belief that it is not events that matter but how you interpret them and what you do about them that matters.
  • Learning how to understand and use your emotions - what I always say to my clients is; "If you want to make your life really work, you must make your emotions work for you". Emotions are there for a reason, even the ones you think are negative and maybe trying to deny or avoid. They are there as a call to action!
  • Bringing consciousness to your life - the worst enemy of anxiety, depression and anger is consciousness. We show how to practice self-compassion and bring empathy and kindness to yourself and to any situation.
  • Reconnecting with your "BluePrint"- this can be seen as putting yourself back together again. For example by seeing old friends, going out, exercising, doing new activities, bringing back old hobbies you enjoyed, finding new interest and passions in your life. The emphasis is on establishing this transition as a new start rather than an end.
  • Getting Sleep – stress often leads to a lack of sleep. Tiredness often leads sufferers feeling burnout and a need for escapism and commonly to the use of self-medication through alcohol, drugs, overeating and sugar addiction. We show how to use both Hypnotherapy and Meditation techniques to provide for a better quality of sleep.
  • Setting New Goals – the focus here is on living purposefully and is connected with these questions: what is it you would like out of life? What do think you deserve? How are you going to achieve it? What makes you happy?

At the worst point in the emotional crisis we can be gripped by feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, grief, guilt, and shame. Unfortunately, that is when most people are moved to make the first call to a divorce lawyer. As a result, people can also end up making short-sighted decisions based on emotional reactions that do not take into account anyone's long-term best interest.

To address this challenge Surrey Psychotherapy has teamed up with Guildford based CP Law Associates to provide professional help in strengthening mental health during the and after the trauma of divorce.

Teba Martin from Surrey Psychotherapy www.surrey-psychotherapy.com


Friday 6th April, 2018

Health Charge for Temporary Migrants to Double

The government plans to double the immigration health surcharge paid by temporary migrants to the UK.

The surcharge will rise from £200 to £400 per year. The discounted rate for students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme will increase from £150 to £300.

The annual charge is paid by people from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are seeking to live in the UK for 6 months or more to work, study or join family.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) estimates that the NHS spends £470 on average per person per year on treating surcharge payers. Projections suggest that the increased charges may provide around £220m extra every year, with this money going to NHS services.

Do you have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge?

For visa applications made outside the UK, you have to pay if you:

  • are a national of a country outside the European Economic Area
  • are applying for a visa to work, study or join your family in the UK for more than 6 months (but you're not applying to permanently remain in the UK)
  • have applied and paid your visa fee on or after 6 April 2015

For immigration applications made within the UK, you have to pay if you:

  • are a national of a country outside the EEA
  • are making an immigration application for any length of time (but you are not applying to permanently remain in the UK)
  • have applied and paid your application fee on or after 6 April 2015

Wednesday 3rd April, 2018

MOJ Family Form Amendments

The Ministry of Justice has announced that Form FM1, Form A, Form A1, Form B and Form C100 will be amended with effect from 8 January 2018.

The amended family forms are: Form FM1 (Family Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM)), Form A (Notice of [intention to proceed with] an application for a financial order), Form A1 (Notice of [intention to proceed with] an application for a financial remedy (other than a financial order)), Form B (Notice of an application to consider the financial position of the Respondent after the divorce/dissolution), and Form C100 (Application under s 8 of the Children Act 1989 for a child arrangements, prohibited steps, specific issue order or to vary or discharge or ask permission to make a s 8 order).

The amendments reflect changes to the evidence requirements regarding domestic abuse. All completed applications using the old forms received after 12 January 2018 will be returned to the applicant.