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Legislation changes mean that newlyweds risk £1,000 fine if they don’t register their marriage within one week

Currently, newlyweds are asked to sign a register and certificate during the wedding ceremony but this could all change. The proposed changes, which could come into force by the end of 2019, mean that couples will no longer be presented with this certificate. Instead, they’ll be presented with a “marriage schedule” or “marriage document” which they will have to sign and take to their local register office according to The Faculty Office. Couples will be given one week to officially register the marriage before they face any consequences and one concern for many is that they will be on their honeymoon during this period. In these instances, couples can ask someone else to lodge the document on their behalf but it is their responsibility to ensure that this is done. It’s not only newlyweds who will face the consequences of the…

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What is Japanese Knotweed and why does it pose a problem for homebuyers?

In this article, the Sweeney Miller team explains. What is Japanese knotweed? Japanese knotweed looks a lot like bamboo, featuring long stems, small white flowers, and leaves positioned in a zig-zag pattern near the base. For many years, it was grown as an ornamental flower much like bamboo, but when introduced to Europe it began to grow as an aggressive weed. Because it originates in Japan where the soil is volcanic and dry, Japanese knotweed flourishes in European soil, no matter how poor. Why is it a problem? Japanese knotweed is so strong that it’s been known to grow through pipes, brickwork, roads, and concrete. This means it’s capable of causing damage to buildings, driveways, and gardens – all of which contribute to the overall value of a property. If the property has Japanese knotweed will I be able to get a mortgage? As a rule,…

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How can I prevent a challenge to my Will?

Although a properly drawn Will is legally binding, there are ways to contest or dispute it. This often happens when confusion or dispute arises in the division of your estate between beneficiaries, or if you were not crystal clear about your wishes within the document itself or If the document has been homemade and perhaps not properly signed and/or witnessed.   this is why it is always vitally important to use an experienced and qualified Solicitor at Sweeney Miller Law when making your Will. Unfortunately, there is no way you can completely lock down your Will against any contests or disputes following your death. However, you can take the following steps to help avoid this situation… Plan as early as you can Although this is a morbid thought, it’s important to start considering your Will when you’re still mentally capable enough to write it….

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North East Landlords Association Meeting – Next meeting Wednesday 26th June

CALLING ALL NORTH EAST LANDLORDS – The next NEL meeting will be on the 26th June at Northern Rugby Club, Gosforth from 5.30pm onwards. The highly popular event is a must for any property investors or wannabe property investors. About this Event The event will help you get to know why NEL is being established, how we see it working and hear what you would like to see it deliver. There are experts on hand during the event to give you advice on Property and Rental legal issues, Tax & Accounts, Landlord and Property Insurance as well as Mortgages. There are also talks too: Bruce will be doing his regular update and Quiz David Smith from Sweeney Miller will be covering Inheritance Tax Gwen Smith from Newcastle Council…

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Divorce and the family home

Divorce and the family home When marriages break down and the divorce process is finished, there’s one big question on everyone’s mind: who gets the house? This is particularly complicated for families with children, who are often faced with so many options they don’t know what to do. We at Sweeney Miller understand that it’s important to face the facts in this situation in order to move forward. In this article we cover the general points that tend to emerge when a solicitor is tasked with negotiating the fate of the family home. Children are the priority The welfare of any children caught up in a separation or divorce is paramount. Where possible, the Court will want to achieve stability for the children and it is preferable for the children to live in an owned home. However, this may not always be affordable. In…

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I’m a grandparent. What legal rights do I have?

Family breakdowns are hard on everyone, especially children. However, the impact of divorce, separation, or police involvement on grandparents is rarely considered a priority. In this article, the Sweeney Miller team takes you through exactly which legal rights grandparents are entitled to with regards to their grandchildren. Do grandparents have a legal right to see their grandchildren? As it stands, grandparents do not have an automatic legal right to see their grandchildren. However, family courts understand the role that grandparents can play in the life of a child. There are options for grandparents looking to secure the right to stay in contact with (or visit) their grandchildren. This is the last resort for many grandparents, as most will first try to make an informal agreement with the child’s parents or carers. If negotiation is not successful, the issue at hand may require the involvement…

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What is a Separation Agreement and when might I need one?

Separation Agreements can deal with how a couple intend to share their assets and liabilities when they decide to separate. Such an agreement will set out their intention to live apart and typically sets out their financial arrangements whilst they are separated. When might you need to consider a separation agreement? If a couple are not married but have joint assets and liabilities, a separation agreement is a good way to document the arrangements you have made, which for a married couple would usually be dealt with as part of a divorce. When the couple is married, a separation agreement may be appropriate when divorce is not envisaged in the near future. For example, you have religious reasons against divorce or you wish to wait until you have been separated 2 years before petitioning for divorce, but wish to resolve the finances…

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Proposal to end Section 21 ‘no-fault evictions’ in England

What is a Section 21 Notice? A section 21 notice allows landlords to evict renters without providing a valid and justified reason after their fixed-term tenancy period ends. What is the current position? At the moment, landlords can give tenants as little as eight weeks’ notice after a fixed-term contract ends. What are the proposed changes? Under the government’s new plans, landlords would have to provide a “concrete, evidenced reason already specified in law” in order to bring tenancies to an end. The National Landlords Association (NLA) said its members should be able to use a Section 8 possession notice to evict someone who has broken the terms of their tenancy – for example by not paying rent. This sometimes involves landlords spending money taking action in court if the tenants refuse to leave. But NLA chief executive Richard Lambert said many landlords were forced to use…

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Lindsey Christie’s achieves great success in professional negligence case for faulty renovations

A DURHAM doctor who bought a dream ‘barn conversion; only to find renovations on the house were faulty, has won a massive £190,000 compensation thanks to North East solicitors Sweeney Miller Law. Solicitor Lindsey Christie fought doggedly for more than two years to ensure that her client received support for faulty renovations and the insurance company opposing the claim – which they could have settled with the client initially for £20,000 – ended up paying almost 10 times that amount. Mrs Christie said: “It’s a lot of money to pay out but I have no sympathy for them and every sympathy for my client. Unfortunately, he had to face a hotly-contested legal battle with an insurance-backed company who seemed intent on raising every possible legal dispute and dragging out the case for as long as possible, despite the misery they were…

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What is a Clean Break Consent Order and why might you need one when you are getting divorced?

Most people don’t realise that although their decree absolute ends their marriage, it does not automatically end their financial ties to their spouse. Financial settlement upon divorce is a separate procedure from the divorce process itself. There is no automatic ‘clean break’ without an order of the court to this effect. It is essential to seek legal advice from a Solicitor specialising in divorce law at the earliest opportunity in order to understand exactly what a clean break order is and what it would mean for your circumstances. What is a clean break consent order? If you are able to reach a financial settlement with your spouse as to how the assets and liabilities of the marriage will be divided, you can ask a judge to make this legally binding. This is known as consent order. A consent order summarises your financial settlement….

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Sweeney Miller wins manual handling accident at work claim

A warehouseman working for an international supermarket chain has reached an out of court settlement shortly before trial. The Claimant had been repeatedly lifting large heavy trays of produce at work, causing him to suffered a hernia. He sued his employer who denied liability and hotly contested the case for over 3 years before finally agreed to pay him just under £5000 in compensation for his pain and suffering. The dispute over liability was centred around the employer’s failures to property risk assess the amount of heavy lifting the Claimant’s job involved or to put any weight restrictions on the amount of produce contained in the trays the Claimant was required to lift. There were also no adjustments made to take account of the employee’s height, which resulted in the Claimant being required to lift large heavy trays from a pile of…

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