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Family Law

Family Law

Thorley Stephenson’s family law department is at the forefront of private client and legal aid representation in all aspects of family law.

Personal Injury

Personal Injury

We aim to provide the best possible advice and representation for personal injury claims.

Civil Disputes

Civil Disputes

In today's climate civil disputes, whether between individuals or companies, can not only be complex but also costly, getting the best advice at a very early stage is crucial.

Road Traffic

Road Traffic

Our road traffic law solicitors have years of experience in defending clients across Scotland in relation to motoring offences...

Latest News

  • Minister for Children and Young People Aileen Campbell has announced the appointment of Garry Coutts as the new Chair to the Children’s Hearings Scotland (CHS) Board. The children’s hearings system is Scotland’s unique system for care and justice for children and young people. It aims to ensure the safety and well-being of children and young people in Scotland who may be at risk through a decision-making lay tribunal, the children’s panel. Children’s Hearings Scotland works in partnership with the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA), local authorities and other agencies to support the children’s panel, using its influence to drive improvements across the children’s hearings system. Mr Coutts takes over from John Anderson MBE who has served as Interim Chair since the previous post-holder stepped down in October. Mr Anderson remains a CHS Board member. Contact Thorley Stephenson’s Solicitors For specialist legal advice from our solicitors in Scotland, please telephone 0131 556 9599.
  • A recent study into adoption in England has confirmed that the rate of breakdown is lower than anticipated, but it also reveals a stark picture of the problems faced by families. Researchers from the University of Bristol analysed national data on 37,335 adoptions over a 12 year period to show that 3.2% of children – around three in 100 - move out of their adoptive home prematurely, known as a ‘disruption’. Adoptions were more likely to breakdown if a child was placed once they were over the age of four. Most adoptions breakdown during the teenage years with teenagers ten times more at risk of disruption compared with children under the age of four. This is an important finding as services have focused on providing support in the early years of the placement. There are very few services for adopted young people and those parenting adopted teenagers. “The disruption rate was lower than we expected. The reasons for that became obvious when we met the families, whose commitment and tenacity was remarkable in very testing circumstances,” commented Professor Julie Selwyn, Head of the Hadley Centre for Adoption and Foster Care Studies at the University of Bristol. “There is an urgent need for Children’s Services to develop support services for adopted teenagers and their parents and for mental health services for young people to be improved.  Although disruptions were rare, the impact of a disruption was enormous,” she added. Contact Thorley Stephenson’s Solicitors For specialist legal advice from our solicitors in Scotland on family law related issues, please telephone 0131 556 9599.
  • The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act came into force at the weekend, officially making it legal for same sex marriages to take place in England and Wales. The first marriages took place on Saturday 29th March and were welcomed by campaigners around the country. “Last night, at shortly after midnight, the first same-sex couples exchanged their wedding vows,” said Ruth Hunt, Acting Chief Executive of Stonewall. “These ceremonies symbolise the fact that, for the first time ever, lesbian, gay and bisexual people are equal under the law of this country.” “Around the world these celebrations stand as a beacon to those fighting for their own fundamental freedoms. Whilst our journeys are unique, our ambition to love and live freely is shared,” she added. The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act: allows same sex couples to marry in civil ceremonies; allows same sex couples to marry in religious ceremonies, where the religious organisation has ‘opted in’ to conduct such ceremonies and the minister of religion agrees; protects those religious organisations and their representatives who don’t wish to conduct marriages of same sex couples from successful legal challenge; enables civil partners to convert their partnership to a marriage, if they wish; enables married individuals to change their legal gender without having to end their marriage. Similar legislation has been approved by the Scottish Parliament but is not yet in force in Scotland. Contact Thorley Stephenson’s Solicitors For specialist legal advice from our solicitors in Scotland, please telephone 0131 556 9599.  
  • The Scottish Government has recently published Children's Social Work Statistics Scotland, which gives details of the number of children in care in 2012-13. The figures show that: 2% of children in Scotland were looked after by local authorities or on the child protection register, 16,041 children were looked after, 2,681 children were on the child protection register of whom 805 were also looked after, and 78 young people were in secure care accommodation. The report highlights that there are a number of routes by which a child may come to be looked after, in secure care or on the child protection register. Children may be referred to the Children's Reporter, be the subject of an investigation without being referred to the Reporter, become voluntarily looked after or come in through the criminal justice system. There are several types of placements that looked after children or young people could be placed in, including at home (where a child is subject to a Supervision Requirement and continues to live in their normal place of residence), foster care, residential unit or school, a secure unit or a kinship placement (where they are placed with friends or relatives). The statistics show that there was a 49% rise in the number of children looked after between 2001 and 2011, driven by the increase in children looked after in community placements. Since 2011 numbers of looked after children have apparently plateaued and started to decrease. Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0. Contact Thorley Stephenson’s Solicitors For specialist legal advice from our solicitors in Scotland, please telephone 0131 556 9599.
  • The proportion of children in England and Wales whose parents are raising them together rose from 67% in 2010/11 to 69% in 2011/12, according to the latest Family Stability Indicator. The increase is more prominent for those children in low income households, with a three percentage point rise from 45% in 2010/11 to 48% in 2011/12. This means that around 75,000 more children in low income households are living with both their birth parents. Children growing up in unstable families, particularly those experiencing multiple family transitions, are at higher risk of developing social disadvantage in later life, such as issues with mental health, drug and alcohol abuse and lower educational attainment, say the Government. As part of the Government’s long-term economic plan, a programme of support for families has been launched, which includes: introducing Marriage Tax breaks to reinforce the significance of marriage at the heart of a strong society, the Troubled Families Programme which has invested £448 million to support local authorities to turn around the lives of the most vulnerable families, plans to introduce a new system of shared parental leave and pay, allowing fathers to play a greater role in raising their child and helping mothers to return to work at a time that’s right for them, affordable childcare and access to flexible working, helping families to maintain a work/life balance – £200 million additional investment in Universal Credit will allow claimants working less than 16 hours to claim support with childcare costs for the first time, and supporting couple relationships via a dedicated fund of £30 million for relationship support over the Spending Review period (2011-2015) – initial evaluation of the interventions has shown a significant return on investment. Contact Thorley Stephenson’s Solicitors For specialist legal advice from our solicitors in Scotland on divorce and separation, please telephone 0131 556 9599.