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Kerseys Newsletter: March 2022

Kerseys Solicitors March 2022 Newsletter

At Kerseys, we pride ourselves in always putting the needs our clients first and are flexible with arrangements to ensure our clients receive the service they deserve and that is right for them.  We are big enough to deal with complex matters but small enough to care and ensure we deliver a service that is specific to each client’s requirements.

Visit our web site and chat with us to provide us with your availability and a preferred date and time to be contacted and we will do our best to meet your requirements arranging for a specialist lawyer to speak with you.  Not all lawyers are 9 to 5, we offer flexible pre-arranged telephone appointments to service your needs where we can.

Fresh Start New Beginnings

We continue to support and raise money for Fresh Start New Beginnings which is a charity that was set up to provide a therapeutic service for children and young people up to 18 years who have reported being sexually abused and to offer support for their families.

11 June at the waterfront in Ipswich where members of staff “Kerseys Krew” will be in a boat and hopefully remain dry to raise money for Fresh Start new beginnings.

We would also like to thank Ipswich Town Football Club for donating two ticket towards our raffle for one of our fundraising events.

                                                           Click here to find out more about volunteering.

Key Dates

21 March 2022 – Self Employed or an Employer – Are you compliant with IR35? – Don’t get caught out – on 21 March 2022, the Court of Appeal will consider whether rules on intermediaries (IR35) applied to a presenter providing services to the BBC through a personal service company. Click here to understand IR35.

1 April 2022 – Covid-19 Vaccinations – 
Vaccinations was to become mandatory for frontline health and social care workers.  However this has since be reviewed –  health and social care workers.

1 April 2022 – Minimum Wage Increase for all workers aged 23 and over are legally entitled to at least £9.50 per hour.

  • 21-22 year olds £9.18 per hour.
  • 18-20 year olds £6.83 per hour.
  • 16-17 year olds £4.81 per hour.
  • Apprentices under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship £4.81 per hour.

6 April 2022 – No fault divorce – Removing blame should promote parties to work more collaboratively which will have a positive impact especially where children are involved. Overall, this must be seen as a positive step and will be welcomed by the majority of people who are facing difficulties in their marriage.

6 April 2002 – Employment Compensations Award limited increases.

  • a week’s pay (basic award / redundancy payment) – £571 (from £544)
  • maximum compensatory award – £93,878 (from £89,493)

These figures will be used to calculate statutory redundancy payments and a basic award in employment tribunal claims.

Divorce law in a nutshell
Why is divorce law changing?

Until 6 April 2022 it is necessary to prove that your marriage has irretrievably broken down by giving one of five grounds of divorce. Three of those are based on alleging that one party has misbehaved. This might be adultery, unreasonable behaviour or desertion. Making allegations is not a constructive way to bring marriage to an end. The government wanted to reduce conflict between couples and in families and to recognise the changes that have occurred in society.

If I want a divorce what will I have to demonstrate from 6th April 2022?

You will simply have to be separated and remain separated for 20 weeks after your divorce application has been sent to the court. After a further six weeks you will able to be divorced.

But doesn’t the current law allow me to divorce based on us being separated?

It does but the waiting time is much longer. The government felt that it was right for these waiting times to be reduced, while still recognising that people need time to reflect on their futures, sort out their finances and make arrangements for their children.

We want to be amicable about our divorce. Can we make a joint application from 6  April 2022 or does just one of us have to do it?

You can make a joint application if it suits you. However if one party only wants to apply then that can also be done

What if I don’t want to be divorced after the new law comes in. Can I defend the divorce application?

In most cases it will not be possible to defend a divorce. The only grounds for defending will be that the court in England and Wales has no jurisdictional right to grant a divorce, that the marriage was never valid, or no marriage exists because it has already ended.

What if I definitely want to be divorced under the current law?

You must submit your petition for divorce by no later than 4pm on 31 March 2022.  Only in exceptional circumstances will the court accept new divorce applications between 4pm on 31 March 2022 and 5th April 2022. If you have completed a draft application for divorce but not submitted it or think you want to divorce under the current law not the new law you should submit your application before 31 March 2022. If an application for help with court fees is going to be made you must make sure your petition has been issued by 16th March 2022 as there is an extra process for the court. We suggest that you don’t leave it as late as those dates. The court is not able to guarantee that it will issue applications put in at the last minute.

Urgent applications that need to be made after 4pm on 31 March 2022 and before 6 April 2022 can be made on paper or email and must be sent to the Divorce Centre in Bury St Edmunds. The email address for urgent applications is [email protected].  Please speak to us if you think you fall into this category and we will help you.

All of the above information also applies to the dissolution of civil partnerships.

Future Changes being discussed in Parliament

Paying Ground Rent?
The Government has committed to comprehensive reform of the leasehold system. The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 is the first part of this process and further leasehold reform is expected.

The Act will only apply to new leases and will not assist existing leaseholders faced with high and escalating ground rents.

No timescale has been given for future leasehold reforms as recommended by the Law Commission.

Are Home Information Packs coming back?

Michael Gove announced on 2 February 2022 as part of his “Levelling Up proposals” an unexpected commitment to create a new version of the much-criticised Home Information Pack. It was announced that:

“We will improve the home buying and selling process, working with the industry to ensure the critical information buyers need to know is available digitally wherever possible from trusted and authenticated sources.”

Home Information Packs were first introduced in 2007 and contained a series of mandatory documents including the then-new Energy Performance Certificate, a Sale Statement which would include property searches, and evidence of title documents. For leasehold properties there were also copies of the lease and other relevant documents. The Pack had to be produced before the Property was marketed. The packs were scrapped in 2010 although the requirement to provide an energy performance certificate remained.

The Levelling Up paper also said:
“The home buying and selling process which can be expensive, time-consuming and stressful will be improved. “Around a third of all housing transactions fall through, costing people hundreds of millions of pounds each year.  “The UK Government and the industry will work together to ensure the critical material information buyers need to know – like tenure type, lease length and any service charges – are available digitally wherever possible from trusted and authenticated sources, and provided only once. If necessary, the UK Government will legislate.”

Best wishes from the Senior Management Team at Kerseys.

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