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Since 1929, the legal age for marriage within heterosexual relationships in England and Wales has been as young as 16 years old, as long as both parties receive parental or judicial permission. As of April 2022, this has legally been raised to 18. The minimum age is also currently 16 in Scotland, although there is no need for parental consent.

The bill aims to protect against arranged marriages and coercion into abusive relationships, which is a prevalent issue. In fact, over 25% of forced marriage unit cases in 2020 in the UK involved parties under the age of 18 (not including any religious or cultural marriages). UK law classes 18 as the legal age of adulthood physically, emotionally and mentally, meaning that marriage any younger than this legally involves a child.

The effects of early marriage have been in discussion for a long time and include the likes of lack of education, emotional adversity, and a lack of social and medical support for women. In raising the minimum UK age of marriage, there is hope of also directly combating some of these factors in young people. More...

When your relationship breaks down and you have children with your ex-partner, it is important to make arrangements regarding who the children will live with and how often they will spend time with the other parent. Previously known as seeking child custody, the process of organising residence for children post-separation of the parents is now referred to as Child Arrangements or Child Arrangement Disputes.

The safety and wellbeing of your child should always be the priority when making these arrangements. In some circumstances, parents may not agree on the arrangements for the children. When this occurs, it is important that the parent who is seeking contact with their children follows the process correctly to ensure that there is no delay in continuing or resuming an active role in their children’s lives.

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Approximately one in seven babies are born prematurely in the UK every year. This naturally brings up a whole range of emotions, some of which can be very difficult to deal with.

However, the support surrounding neonatal babies seems to be changing, with the government looking to implement vital help in the coming years. So, what can parents-to-be expect? More...

On the 31st of December 2020, the transition period agreed for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union ended. This marked the dawn of a new legislative era, an era where EU law no longer applies to the UK.


The infamous tagline of ‘taking back control’ naturally meant that much of the legislation once drawn up from a Eurocentric perspective, would now be rethought and reworked to directly serve Great Britain.


So, what does this mean for family cases, and what new ground must family law solicitors navigate as the impact of Brexit on UK law becomes clearer? More...

Since the coronavirus pandemic’s first lockdown in March 2020, there has been disappointment for many betrothed couples who have had to postpone and rearrange their weddings on multiple occasions. Some have gone ahead, where possible, but restrictions have forced them to dramatically change their original plans.

With both the marriage act and the Government’s decisions forcing big changes to weddings in 2020 – with some only allowed 15 guests – many people are now pondering whether the marriage act is still fit for purpose.

For example, to be legal, wedding ceremonies must be held in a registered venue and strict restrictions mean you cannot get married outdoors – limiting numbers for a covid wedding. Adding a further complication, you must give notice of intent to marry in person. You cannot contact a registrar via phone, post or email – something which has not been possible for many throughout lockdown.

Marriage reform is now being proposed, as a result. 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 (http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr).
  2. Our contact email address in case of a complaint under the ODR regulation – Andrea Coombes andrea.c@howellslegal.com