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If you are in dispute with your ex-partner/spouse regarding your children, or if you are having problems settling your separation, you may be thinking about issuing Court proceedings.

As of July 2014, before any application can be made to court, you are now required to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM). The aim of the meeting is to see if mediation could be used to resolve your difficulties, rather than going straight to court. Courts are required to know that mediation has been considered before they are able to proceed with your application.

What is a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting?

The MIAM is a meeting between you and a mediator to find out if there are alternative ways to find solutions to your problems. The mediator will explain what your options may be, how mediation will work, the benefits of mediation and the costing involved. The meeting can be between the mediator and just you or with your ex-partner too.

What does a mediator do?

During mediation, a mediator will:More...

The case of Begum v Pedagogy Auras UK Limited, which was heard by the Employment Appeal Tribunal recently, has acted as a stark reminder that employers should be cautious when implementing dress codes, particularly when it could impact upon an employee’s religion or belief.

In the wake of this case, we've taken a look at its implications as well as those of implementing a dress code in the workplace. How should an employer decide what is appropriate attire for the workplace? And more importantly, how should they act if there is a concern that it constitutes discrimination?

Howells Solicitors offers a brief guide to help employers get it right.

Begum v Pedagogy Aurus UK Limited

The case mentioned above involved Ms Begum, a devout Muslim, whose religion required her to wear a jilbab (a long, loose fitted garment). When applying for a role at Pedagogy, a day nursery in Essex, Ms Begum undertook a half-day trial and was interviewed by the managing director, wearing her jilbab throughout. She was then offered an apprenticeship.More...

Divorce can be confusing enough without having to decipher all of the legal jargon involved. To help you get to grips with divorce terminology we’ve put together an A-Z guide that explains things in plain English.

Access – See Child Arrangements Order

Acknowledgement of Service – If your husband or wife has started divorce proceedings against you, you will be sent an Acknowledgement of Service form. This needs to be filled in to say you either agree or disagree with the divorce and returned to the court within 8 days. If you don’t send this form back within 21 days, your husband or wife can continue with the divorce as if you’d agreed to it.

Affidavit – An affidavit is a formal declaration that the contents of a particular statement (for example a divorce petition) are true. It is a written statement which is sworn under oath by the person making it.

Cafcass Officer – Cafcass stands for Children and Family Court Advisory Service. A Cafcass officer (also known as a family court advisor) is a specialist social worker whose role is to help you agree arrangements for your child, carry our safeguarding enquiries and, if requested by the judge, to write a detailed report about your child’s needs and wishes. For more information please see our recent blog post. More...


Howells Announces Extra Dates for Free Employment Law Seminars in Swansea and Cardiff

Are you up to date with the latest developments in Employment Law legislation? Would you like to find out more about recent changes in this area so that you’re able to safeguard your business and employees?

At Howells Solicitors, we appreciate that it can be difficult for busy people to keep up with the latest in Employment Law legislation. However, this complex area of the law has many implications for employers and employees alike, and understanding them is imperative.

In an attempt to assist those who would benefit from professional guidance in this area, Howells Solicitors are hosting two FREE Employment Law seminars for businesses based in Cardiff, Swansea and South West Wales. The first will be hosted at the Village Hotel in Swansea on the 7th of July, followed by a second at our Cardiff Offices on the 9th of July.

These seminars will provide practical, jargon-free advice and guidance regarding recent changes in Employment Law and best practice, and is aimed at HR professionals and senior management. However, the information we will be providing is relevant for anyone in business and all are welcome.More...

When your personal circumstances change, it is vitally important you update your Will to ensure that your money and possessions are distributed according to your wishes on death. Getting married is no exception, particularly as the law surrounding Wills and marriage may come as a surprise.

Marrying or entering into a civil partnership automatically revokes a Will, leaving it invalid. The only exception is if your Will is stated to have been made ‘in contemplation of the marriage’. If it is not, and you don’t write a will after marrying, your estate will be dealt with under the rules of intestacy.

Marriage and The Laws of Intestacy

Under the laws of intestacy:

1. If you have no children, your spouse will inherit your whole estate.

2. If you do have children, your spouse will inherit your personal chattels, the first £250,000 of your estate, and a half share of what remains. The other half share will be divided between your children, and they would be entitled to their inheritance at age 18.

The laws of intestacy were drawn up to reflect the social landscape and family structures in the 1920s. Some changes were made in October 2014, but the law nevertheless remains unfit for many people’s circumstances. It is not a good idea to rely on the intestacy laws and you should note that ‘step children’ will receive nothing from your estate if you die intestate.More...

With effect from 15th February 2015 EU Regulations on Consumer Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) allow consumers who bought our services online to submit their complaint via an online complaint portal.

We are required under the regulations to provide our clients the following information:-
  1. Link to the ODR platform - please follow the following link for further information (
  2. Our contact email address in case of a complaint under the ODR regulation – Andrea Coombes