Category: Lund Bennett Law LLP

Missing persons, guardianship and the presumption of death

Looking for a missing person

A missing person may be reported to the police. In addition, a number of organisations offer assistance in searching for a missing person.

Guardianship

A person going missing may give rise to a range of difficult financial consequences, as well as emotional and personal problems.

The Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 came fully into force on 31 July 2019. It creates a new legal status of guardian of the affairs of a missing person, enabling someone to act in the best interests of a person who has been missing (generally) for 90 days or more. Applications for guardianship must be made to the High Court and, once appointed, guardians are supervised by the Office of the Public Guardian.

Presumption of death 

The Presumption of Death Act 2013 came fully into force on 1 October 2014.

This Act enables an application to be made to the High Court for a declaration that a missing person, who is thought to have died or who has not been known to be alive for at least seven years, is presumed dead. Once it can no longer be the subject of an appeal, a declaration is conclusive as to the presumed death and effective for all purposes and against all persons. The missing person’s property passes to others and his or her marriage or civil partnership is ended.

Both Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate legislation governing the presumption of death.

KIRSTEN BENNETT HAS VAST EXPERIENCE WORKING IN THIS AREA AND REGULARLY ACTS FOR FAMILIES LEFT BEHIND.

For more information please visit our website here

The Family Court and COVID-19

An article from Family Law has suggested that The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has published a document entitled ‘The Road Ahead’, aimed at establishing a framework for the Family Court in England and Wales by attempting to chart the road ahead over the next six months or more.

In the early weeks of the COVID crisis most contested fact-finding or final welfare hearings were adjourned (unless they could proceed, for example, with minimal oral evidence). It was no doubt hoped by many that normal working would resume relatively soon and the delay in resolving the contested issues would not be great. It now seems sensible to assume that social distancing restrictions will remain in place for many months and that it is unlikely that anything approaching a return to the normal court working environment will be achieved before the end of 2020 or even the spring of 2021.

Lund Bennett offer a range of services and are Family Law Specialists. If you require our assistance or expertise, please call us today on 0161 924 0079.

Revealed: A surge in Domestic Violence during COVID-19 Pandemic

A report by the Guardian has revealed shocking statistics revealed that domestic violence has surged since the start of the coronavirus lockdown, as the home secretary, Priti Patel, insisted that help for all victims of abuse was available.

The UK’s largest domestic abuse charity, Refuge, has reported a 700% increase in calls to its helpline in a single day, while a separate helpline for perpetrators of domestic abuse seeking help to change their behaviour received 25% more calls after the start of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Data from around the world suggest that the introduction of lockdowns has led to a rise in domestic abuse, with victims unable to avoid perpetrators.

For a minority of financially blessed and happy families, lockdown might seem almost holiday. For most, however, it has unleashed profound stress due to economic pressures, bereavement, sickness — and the unfamiliar experience of being cooped up in small spaces, in many cases juggling kids and, if you are lucky enough, jobs.

For information and support on domestic abuse, contact:

  • Police : 999 press 55 when prompted if you can’t speak
  • Refuge UK wide 24-hour helpline : 0808 2000 247

What is a quickie divorce?

Anyone that reads celebrity news will have come across the term “quickie divorce” at some point over the years.

If you’ve read about Ant McPartlin, Cheryl Cole, Rowan Atkinson, or Louise Redknapp’s divorces, then you may be under the impression that they received special celebrity treatment, a divorce in just a matter of seconds!

These media reports about so called “quickie divorces” are actually very misleading, as all divorces go through the same process, no matter what your celebrity status.

So, what are the media actually referring to when they say that Cheryl Cole received “Britain’s fastest ever quickie divorce”, and was divorced in just 14 seconds?

The part of the divorce process that is being referred to here is how long it took the judge to read out the pronouncement of the first decree.

Once a couple receive the first decree, this does not mean that their divorce is complete, it is simply confirmation from the court that they agree there are grounds for a divorce.

The divorce will not be finalised until the decree absolute has been granted, and unless there are exceptional circumstances the couple must then wait a minimum of six weeks and one day before applying for the decree absolute.

Exceptional circumstances are considered on a case by case basis. The most common reasons for a decree absolute to be expedited is if one person is dying and wishes to divorce before they pass away, or if one party has moved onto a new relationship, is pregnant, and wishes to remarry before the baby is born. Celebrity status certainly doesn’t play a part!
Generally, all divorces in the UK take between 6 and 12 months to complete. If financial matters take a long time to resolve, then the process can take even longer.

For help or advice with filing for a divorce quickly and efficiently, give our team of solicitors here at Lund Bennett a call on 0161 927 3118.

Fashion doesn’t need to cost the earth

Kirsten Bennett, one of the founding partners at Lund Bennett Law LLP has pledged to spend all of 2020 without buying any new clothes.

Any items of clothing she purchases over the coming year will be sourced from either vintage fairs or through clothes swaps. This follows a growing awareness internationally of the negative impact that the fashion industry is having on the environment. Textile dyeing is currently the second largest polluter of water globally and it can take around 2,000 gallons of water to make a standard pair of jeans.

Fast fashion is also having an impact on sustainability as people are not keeping clothes for as long as they used to. The modus operandi for a lot of people nowadays is to buy clothes cheap, wear them a few times before discarding them. The sheer number of clothes consumers are buying has also increased. Between 2000 and 2014, clothing production doubled, with the average consumer buying 60 percent more pieces of garment compared to 15 years ago. Yet, each clothing item is now kept for half as long.

People are more widely becoming concerned about where clothing comes from, who is making it and what conditions they are working in. There is a reason why some brands are able to sell their clothing is sold so cheap and this runs back through the production line, sometimes with workers having to suffer shocking conditions.

Kirsten Bennett, Partner, Lund Bennett Law LLP said:

“Over the past 6 months I have completely changed my outlook in terms of wider issues of sustainability”.

“There are so many good quality pieces of fashion that are available. It’s also great that more brands are embracing the need to change their policies on waste and recycling.”

Lund Bennett Law LLP will be providing updates on Kirsten’s journey through sustainable fashion throughout 2020.