The Government will remove a time limit for evidence for domestic violence. The time limit has already been increased from 2 years to 5 years and this will now be removed completely. Also the types of evidence that can be accepted will be "significantly broadened. This will make it easier for victims of domestic abuse to obtain Legal Aid.
The Ministry of Justice has issued a new Practice Direction PD 36D, as an addition to the Family Procedure Rules 2010 launching a divorce pilot scheme for certain applications to be filed via an online process.
Family Courts are to introduce reforms which will end the presumption of "contact at all costs" when there is evidence of domestic abuse which would put the child or mother at risk.
The Court of Appeal has overturned a financial order after finding "procedural errors". The husband has been excused attendance at an interim hearing but the wife made submissions based on a letter that contained no statement of truth nor was she sworn to give evidence. Sir Ernest Ryder said "had the Court made directions to abide the event of the husband's continuing absence, they could and should have included a warning that inferences of fact might be drawn from his absence". The judge made no reference to the husband's documents and made no analysis of them. He failed to give a formal judgment . The consequence was that the final hearing was "procedurally unfair" and the order was set aside.
The Court made it clear that there must be good and clear grounds to justify a recommendation that there be no contact with a parent.
A year after introducing the "opt out" for organ donation, only 6% have opted out. Therefore there is an increase in lives saved as more organs are available for transplant.
Did you know that if one party qualifies for Legal Aid in Mediation, the other party will have their MIAM and first mediation session paid for by the Legal Aid Agency. To qualify for Legal Aid for mediation, you do not need to provide evidence of domestic abuse but must satisfy the income and capital eligibility.
The Land Registry have set up a service whereby you can monitor properties that you believe may be at risk of fraud. By monitoring properties you will be notified by the Land Registry of any activity occurring on that property. This is particularly useful for those of you who own properties that are either empty or rented. If you would like more information on this service, please feel free to talk to one of our professional Conveyancing Solicitors.
The Rent Smart Wales service must process landlord registrations and grant licences to landlords and agents who are required to comply with the Housing (Wales) Act 2014. If Landlords or Agents do not comply with their legal obligations, this could lead to enforcement action. Rent Smart Wales also have information to assist tenants looking at or living in the private rented sector.
In 2018, the Welsh Government will take responsibility for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) which is paid when you buy or lease a property or land in Wales above a certain price. SDLT will be replaced by Land Transaction Tax.