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World Mental Health Day and Mental Health in Family Matters

This year’s event has had a particular significance due to the additional stresses that many people are under due to the current pandemic. In fact, 49% of the UK population reported feelings of anxiety or worry during the lockdown and more than one in five said that they felt lonely. The pandemic is also exaggerating other already stressful situations such as divorce proceedings. Dealing with a divorce or separation throughout this period can be exceptionally hard while juggling lockdown and other implications. Our legal advisers try to help where we can to ease the pressure. By encouraging open communication and conversation with clients, we can accommodate our service to be sensitive to any specific needs. We also try to ease the pressure of divorce proceedings through guided legal support and advice where possible. If you are undertaking a divorce or separation and…

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Irenna Pietruszka becomes Head of Conveyancing at Newcastle Office

We are delighted to announce that Irenna Pietruszka took over the role of Head of Conveyancing at the Newcastle Office from 1st October 2020. Irenna has already proven to be a strong conveyancer and natural leader and is looking forward to taking on the responsibility for overseeing the firm’s conveyancing department in the Newcastle office. She will be working alongside Damien Todd, who is the Head of Conveyancing, Sunderland Office, with Paul Miller remaining overall Conveyancing Partner and Managing Partner. Find out more about Irenna’s experience with the firm and get in touch with her here.

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Pre and Post-Nuptial Agreements

Unfortunately, as family law experts we understand that almost half of marriages end in divorce. We know this may seem a bleak outlook to many happily married couples, but we are realistic and understand the need to protect your assets which can often be overlooked during the Honeymoon Stage. Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements are a useful way of regulating finances in the event a relationship ends, whether that is in relation to martial or non-marital assets such as businesses and inheritance. You may need a specialist family lawyer to help you differentiate between the two. A pre-nuptial agreement is a contract between a couple entered into before a marriage or civil partnership and a post-nuptial agreement is exactly the same sort of contract but is entered into after the marriage or civil partnership. The courts will look to share…

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Advice on settlement agreements

We understand this is a stressful time for both employers and employees who are faced with no other option but to make staff redundant and come to an agreement on the terms of their departure from the company. If you have a complaint against your employer, you may be able to take your employer to an employment tribunal. If your employer does not wish for the issue to be taken further, they may wish to negotiate a settlement agreement with you. Some employers will also invite you to sign a settlement agreement which usually involves a promise to pay you a sum of money when you leave the company. Your employer will usually pay for you to get independent legal advice, therefore you may not need to pay us anything, and we will deal with your employer direct. We will ensure…

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Possession proceedings due to resume 23rd August 2020

If you require advice on possession proceedings, please contact us without delay! The court will be backlogged for weeks as a result of the pandemic so it is important you deal with matters promptly. The law differentiates between ‘stayed claims’ which are those which were brought on or before 22nd August 2020; and ‘new claims’ which are claims brought after 22nd August 2020. Therefore it is important you get it right. Under the new Practice Direction, stayed claims issued before 3rd August 2020 will not be listed for a hearing or referred to a Judge until one of the parties files with the court, and serves upon the other party, a reactivation notice confirming that they wish the case to be listed, relisted, heard or referred. At Sweeney Miller, we have already started filing reactivation notices for our clients as we know…

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What information do I need for my divorce consultation?

We understand that this is one of the most difficult and stressful times that you have likely experienced and we are here to guide you. We would ask you to start from the beginning and explain when you started your relationship, when you were married, if you had any children during the marriage, and how the relationship broke down. We find some clients like to write everything down to help them remember their details and so that they feel like they don’t forget anything during our chat. But we know some clients need to speak to us so their voices can be heard. We will follow everything up with you in writing so you do not need to panic and write down our discussion or record our meeting. It is helpful to have your financial information with you such as details of…

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Coronavirus Update

In support of our continuous fight against the COVID-19 virus to help protect our staff we would kindly ask that our clients do not visit us unless it is absolutely necessary, should you need to visit you must make an appointment before doing so. Thank you for your co-operation at this unprecedented time. Stay Safe.

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Coronavirus Statement

In line with the medical advice issued to date. We would like to make all of our clients and colleagues aware that in the coming days/weeks it may be necessary for some of our staff to remain at home. The nature of our work makes it extremely difficult for our staff to work from home and we would ask that this be taken into consideration as we may be operating with reduced staff numbers. Consequently we may not be able to return telephone calls and/or emails as we would otherwise do and we request your patience and understanding whilst the potential effects of this unprecedented period unfolds. Please be assured a substantial amount of our substantive work is being done and we would be grateful that you only contact us if absolutely necessary and preferably by email. If you have access to…

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What is a Will and do I need one?

Why should I make a Will? Everyone aged 18 or over who owns property or has savings or has a child or children under 18  should have an up to date Will.  If you do not have a Will the person or people you wish to inherit your assets on your death may not receive them as the government will decide who inherits your assets and these people may not be the ones you wish to inherit anything from you. This can cause untold stress and anxiety for your loved ones as well as a potentially costly and lengthy legal dispute following your death. What is usually included in a Will? Firstly you can appoint an executor who is a person of your choice who you would like to sort out your estate on your death.  The executor is responsible for collecting…

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We can now accept clients using Aldermore!

As of the 13th February 2020 Aldermore have amended their panel qualification criteria. This change is great news for both us and our clients as it means that Sweeney Miller Law can now act for clients wishing to use Aldermore as their lender. Need a quote for buying or selling your home? Call us today: Newcastle: 0345 900 5401 Sunderland: 0191 568 2050

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Make your Personal Injury claim whilst you still can!

Government plans to curb whiplash claims by April 2020 remains of serious concern to all personal injury lawyers who feel the public will be at a disadvantage when the new legislation is introduced. Sweeney Miller Law is among many law firms monitoring the implications of legislation aimed to reform the personal injury claims system which will reduce compensation for claimants, even those who may be unable to work for months. The Civil Liability Bill has passed through the House of Commons and will introduce a fixed tariff for whiplash damages, complemented by a rise in the small claims limit from £1,000 to £5,000 for road traffic accident-related personal injury claims and from £1,000 to £2,000 for other personal injury claims, such as public and employer’s liability. The small claims limit change means legal costs cannot be recovered when the damages are…

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