July 24th, 2017
April was National Pet Month – a chance to celebrate life with pets.
Most pet owners will do anything for their pets, whatever the time of year. Some even leave millions behind for their animal friends.
Sadly, other pet owners fail to meet even the basic needs of their pets required by law.
Three ways owning a pet could bring you into contact with the law
1. Leaving a gift for your pet in your will
You can leave something for your pet in your will. You may also want to leave money for the person who will look after your pet when you’re not around. A will writer could help you with this.
2. Pet pre-nup
You can get a pet pre-nup. A pet pre-nup (or ‘pet-nup’) legally documents who will have your pet if you and your partner split up. A family lawyer could help you write a pet-nup.
3. Breaking the law
From micro-chipping to buying a pet, there are many laws that apply to pets and pet owners. For example, as a dog owner, you need to make sure your dog is under control. If your dog bites and injures someone, you could be fined and sent to prison for up to six months.
If you want legal advice about your pet, see our types of lawyers section.
You can also find out about the court process, if you need to go to court.
Over to you!
We want to hear from you. Have you ever had a run-in with the law because of your pet? Did you get legal advice? Share your experiences by leaving a comment.
March 24th, 2017
How to stay on track
Driving laws help keep you and others safe. Some driving offences won’t land you in court, but others will.
New driving laws came into force in March. Every driver should know about them.
Three facts about the legal driving seat
1. Using your mobile phone
It is against the law to use a handheld mobile phone while you drive. If you get caught, you will incur six penalty points and pay a £200 fine. New drivers will lose their licence.
If you end up in court, you could be fined up to £1,000. Drivers of buses or goods vehicles can be fined up to £2,500.
The same penalties apply to using a handheld phone in standing traffic, at traffic lights or while parked up with your car’s engine running.
2. Using your smart phone as a sat nav
Many of us rely on Google Maps on our smart phones to navigate.
You can still use your smart phone as a sat nav, as long as you
• set it up before your journey
• do not touch it while driving
• place it in a holder correctly.
If you need to touch your phone – to change your route, for example – stop in a safe place first and turn off the engine.
You could be charged with careless driving if you let your sat nav distract you.
3. Car seats
We all want children to be safe. Children must use the correct type of car booster seat until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall.
If you are about to buy a booster seat, make sure you choose the best one.
New laws mean that backless booster seats first brought to market on or after 1 March 2017 can only be used by children who are taller than 125cm and weigh more than 22kg.
So, while you can legally keep on using backless booster seats you already own, it’s worth bearing in mind that many experts say backless booster seats are not safe for younger children. High-backed booster seats are a safer option.
If you are charged for a motoring offence and you aren’t sure what to do, think about seeking legal advice.
Article categories: driving
March 10th, 2017
Three helpful things to know
Seeing your parents argue can be upsetting. And it’s worse if they are going through a divorce. Who will look after you? Who can you have contact with?
When your parents get a divorce
1. You can see each of your parents
You can have contact with both your parents, as long as it’s the best thing for you. The amount of contact time you have with each parent needs to be agreed.
2. You can have your say about where to live
You should speak to your parents about the amount of time you want to spend with each of them. Your parents might both agree to your wishes, or they might not agree with you or with each other.
Your parents can see a mediator or go to court to decide how much contact you will have with them.
A court order can say who you must live with until you are 18 years old. After that, you can choose where to live and who to live with. If there is no court order, you can decide where to live when you reach the age of 16.
3. It is a good idea to get help and advice
You might find it hard to talk to your parents. There are many ways to get help. You can contact Childline about anything. You can talk to them about any worries you have about your parents’ divorce. Childline is here to help.
Call Corum Children’s Legal Centre for free help understanding family law or child law.
If you are having any other problems, why not see if the law can help you?
Article categories: Divorce