November 2nd, 2016
From radio to real life
Radio shows like ‘The Archers’ shine the spotlight on domestic abuse. But do you know what to do if you see it or experience it in real life?
One in four women in England and Wales are victims of domestic violence, a recent study found. And men and children also suffer.
What is domestic violence and abuse?
Domestic abuse takes place between people who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members. Differences in social background, sexuality or ethnicity do not explain it.
There are several types of domestic violence and abuse:
- psychological or emotional – bullying, belittling, stalking or threats to cut contact with children if a person leaves
- physical – kicking, hitting, pushing, hurting
- sexual – sexual harassment or rape
- financial – control over spending, or running up huge credit card debts in another’s name, for example.
How the law can help with domestic abuse
Domestic abuse is wrong. At home, you should feel safe.
Domestic abuse can be a criminal offence.
You may need help from a lawyer. A lawyer can help you get protection from court so that you (and your children) can leave a relationship safely.
Get help with domestic abuse
If you or someone else is in danger, you should dial 999.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, you can get free help and advice.
Other organisations also offer support. To find out more, visit Citizens Advice.
Here at Legal Choices, you can learn more about dealing with other family problems.
Article categories: Family
March 4th, 2016
Where there’s a will, there’s a way
Making a will can be a big step, but there are lots of reasons to take it. You might want to legally state where your money and the things you own should go when you die. Or you may want to say who will take care of your children.
Without a will, you can’t make sure things will go to the people you would like them to go to.
But many of us don’t have a will or feel we can’t afford to pay for one.
Only one quarter of parents with children under 10 years old have made a will, research by consumer group Which? shows.
Get your free will this month
You can make a will at any time. Charity-based schemes run throughout the year.
March 2016 is Free Wills Month. Participating solicitors write your will free of charge—and you’re invited to give to charity. Free Wills Month is for anyone aged 55 or older in England and Wales.
Other schemes include Will Aid Month. Each November, anyone in the UK who wants a basic will can apply.
To learn about other will-writing schemes, visit Money Saving Expert.
Wills – the choice is yours
At Legal Choices, we have answers to some of the big questions around wills. How do I make a will? Who can write my will? How much should I pay for a will?
Get started now.
• I want to make a will
• I want to challenge someone else’s will
• I need to apply for probate
Article categories: Uncategorized
February 11th, 2016
Thousands conned in online dating fraud
Online dating sites do bring lonely hearts together. But, for some, online dating has led to heartbreak—and a sudden drop in their bank balance.
One in four Britons now use online dating websites, reports consumer body Which?
But thousands of users each year are tricked into fake relationships and conned out of their hard-earned cash. According to Action Fraud, the average victim of online dating fraud loses £9,500.
How online dating scams work
Scammers groom their victims before asking for money or other favours. Their eye-catching profiles look real. They often pose as members of a profession. Conman Amir Tofangsazan stole thousands from victims, passing himself off as a doctor and a barrister.
To find out more about online dating scams, and for tips on protecting yourself, visit the Action Fraud website.
Legal advice and help
It can be hard to know for sure if someone is telling the truth about who they are and their profession. But there are some things you can check. See our FAQs to learn how to find out if someone is really a lawyer.
If you’ve been targeted by an online dating scam, report it to Action Fraud.
If you’re looking for legal advice, learn about types of lawyers or contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
July 30th, 2015
Holidays are a big deal in Britain.
Millions of us travel abroad each year, and recent findings from travel association ABTA reveal an increase in the number of people planning to spend more on their holidays in 2015.
When preparing to head overseas most of us think about enjoying the sunshine, maybe relaxing on sandy beaches and generally having an amazing time. However every year the experience for some British nationals is very different as they get caught out by local laws.
If you are preparing to travel abroad it is important to remember that different countries can have different legal frameworks, so finding out what these are could save you from unknowingly breaking the law, getting fined or even getting arrested.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that support you could get in the UK may be unavailable or very expensive overseas.
Unexpected legal problems abroad could include being a victim of crime, being accused of committing a crime, or even being arrested.
In situations like that it’s helpful to know what support is available. Some useful starting points include:
It can also be helpful to know how to find a lawyer working in England and Wales but who knows about another country’s laws. There’s more advice about this is our FAQs section.
Don’t forget as well that you can find out about another country’s laws and customs from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office – just take a look at their travel advice pages.
Article categories: Uncategorized
December 22nd, 2014
747 years in the making
A year is a pretty long time. When it gets to the end of the year it can be hard to recall what things looked like 12 months ago.
Imagine though looking back over 747 years. That would be a lot of history by anyone’s standards.
747 years ago King Henry III was on the throne, and a furious civil war in England was coming to an end.
It was also the year that some of the oldest laws still in force today in England were passed, as part of the Statute of Marlborough.
2015 could see the curtain fall for some of those laws. The Law Commission is now consulting on proposals to repeal some that cover debt collection, after new laws came into force in 2014.
However a lot more happened in 2014 in the legal world. Have a go at the Legal Choices end-of-year quiz and see how much you remember – it’s a lot more fun than a history lesson!
Just click here to get started. And all the best for 2015 from Legal Choices.