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Paul J Watson Solicitor - 116 Borough Road - Middlesbrough - TS1 2ES - T: 01642 293427 - E:

Tag Archives: solicitor in middlesbrough

Using the Duty Solicitor

Free Legal Advice at Police Stations

Everyone receives free legal aid to have a solicitor represent them at the police station, regardless of financial circumstances.

Do you know the difference between a duty solicitor and a trusted local solicitor? THERE ISN’T ONE! Most local criminal solicitors are on a rota which means that they are on duty on certain days/nights in case someone needs a criminal solicitor and doesn’t already have one.

But you never have to use a solicitor that you don’t already know if you don’t want to and you never have to use the duty solicitor.


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Another great result for our Crime Team

R v W – Historical sexual abuse charges

Another client successfully defended in a 5 day trial which concluded at Teesside Crown Court today. The Jury took only 90 minutes to decide to acquit our client (find him not guilty) on every charge, after hearing evidence over the previous 4 days.  This brought to an end a nightmare for our client, whose life had effectively been put on hold since he was invited to the Police Station to answer allegations of historical sexual abuse.  Since then he had to endure months of waiting to prove his innocence, whilst at the same time having his life disrupted by the involvement of Social Services.


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What is a Contact Activity Order?

Family Solicitors

Our Middlesbrough Family Solicitor explains;-

If a judge has ordered you to so something within Children Act proceedings, this is often called a Contact Activity Order. This Order can cover issues such as attending a parenting course or attending family mediation.

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children-solicitor-middlesbroughAdoption Process Guidance & FAQs -Our Family Solicitors in Middlesbrough explain;-

In order to be adopted, a child must:

  • be under the age of 18 when the adoption application is made;
  • not be (or have ever been) married or in a civil partnership.
  • The child’s birth parents

Normally, both birth parents have to agree (consent) to the adoption, unless:

  • They cannot be found
  • They are incapable of giving consent – e.g. due to a mental disability
  • The child would be put at risk if they were not adopted
  • Who can adopt a child?

You may be able to adopt a child if you are aged 21 or over (there is no upper age limit) and are either:

  • single;
  • married;
  • in a civil partnership;
  • an unmarried couple (same sex and opposite sex);
  • the partner of the child’s parent.
  • There are different rules for private adoptions and adoptions of looked-after children.

Do I have to live in the UK to adopt a child?

You do not need to be a British citizen to adopt a child, but:

  • At least one of you must have a fixed and permanent home in the UK (or the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man);
  • Both of you must have lived in the UK for at least one year before you begin the application process.
    Early stages of adoption

To adopt a child you can go through either:

  • The adoption agency that is part of your local council
  • A voluntary adoption agency

The adoption process

The basic process is as follows:

  • You contact an adoption agency – it will send you information about the adoption process.
  • The agency arranges to meet you – you may also be invited to a meeting with other people wanting to adopt a child.
  • If you and the agency agree to carry on, the agency will give you an application form.
  • The time it takes to adopt can vary – but it normally takes at least 8 months.

Adopting a stepchild

If you want to adopt your spouse’s or partner’s child, you need to tell your local council. You must do this at least 3 months before applying to a court

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Child Law – What is the Children Act 1989?

Family Solicitors

Our Middlesbrough Solicitor explains;-

The Children Act 1989 is the statute (i.e. the law) which states what a court can or cannot do when making orders about children. It covers all different kinds of situations, such as child residence, child contact and changing a child’s name, all the way through to care proceedings and child abduction.

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Child Law – What is the ‘no order principle’?

Family Solicitors

Our Middlesbrough Family Solicitors explain;-

This is a really important principle that the court must always consider. The court must start from the position that no order shall be made unless the court ‘considers that doing so would be better for the child than making no order at all’.

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Child Law – What is a Section 37 (s37) report?

Family Solicitors

Our Middlesbrough Solicitor explains;-

When, during any private law proceedings under the Children Act 1989, i.e. proceedings for child contact and child residence, a question arises about the welfare of the child, and it seems to the court that it might be appropriate for a Care Order or Supervision Order to be made, the court will direct the local authority to undertake an investigation into the child’s circumstances and report its findings to the Court.

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Child Law: What is a Section 7 (s7) Report?

Our Middlesbrough Family Solicitor explains;-

A court may ask the local authority for a welfare report when they are considering any private law application under the Children Act 1989 i.e. an application for residence, contact, prohibited steps order or specific issues order.

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What happens at mediation?

Our Family Solicitors in Middlesbrough explain;-

Not everyone is ready for family mediation at the same stage in separating, so the mediator needs to find out whether it is suitable for both of you. This is often done at an assessment and information meeting, when any concerns and questions you might have can be addressed. The mediator will also check eligibility for free publicly funded mediation and explain charges if you are not eligible.

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