Hair Salon Reopening Delight

Following the reopening of hairdressers and barbers in Wales on Monday, March 15, customers in England are eagerly awaiting Monday, April 12, when hairdressing salons and barber shops are scheduled to reopen (along with all non-essential shops) in accordance with stage two of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

In Wales, hairdressers are currently only allowed to serve customers with pre-booked appointments, and are limited to providing haircuts only. Temperature checks are common before clients can enter the premises, and social distancing requirements mean that most salons will not be using every station in order to maintain the two-metre distance rule. Indeed, many smaller salons are likely to operate a one-in, one-out policy due to space restrictions.

During the series of lockdowns in England and Wales over the past year, those in need of a trim have been forced to decide between attempting to cut and style their own hair (sometimes with less than satisfactory results), or letting it grow and accepting the aesthetic consequences. With reports suggesting that hairdressers in Wales were ‘inundated’ with calls for appointments on and after April 12, and ‘heaving’ on that day, many people have clearly come to appreciate the fact that DIY hair care and maintenance is not as easy as it seems.

Another factor in the apparent ‘rush back to the salon’ is the community role that these locations play in many people’s lives. Particularly for those who live alone, a visit to the hairdresser is often a social occasion when having a chat with the hairdresser and catching up on the local gossip may be just as important as having their hair attended to. The state of a person’s hair can also affect their mental wellbeing and confidence, underlining the fact that lots of people have an emotional connection with their hairdresser and salon which they are currently keen to reestablish at the earliest opportunity.

While the government has emphasised that the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions will depend on ‘data not dates’, hair salons in England are on course to reopen on April 12. The anticipated surge in bookings will be challenging for hair salons in terms of sanitation measures and customer numbers, but also heartening news from a business perspective, and a welcome sign that life is slowly but surely returning to some semblance of normality.

Bartletts Solicitors offers an all female team of lawyers specialising in hair and beauty treatment injuries. Call us for a free consultation if your hair has been damaged by a  poorly trained, inexperienced or incompetent hairdresser:

Divorce & Child Arrangements

To avoid going to court, a divorcing couple will need to agree arrangements for looking after their children, particularly where they will live, how much time they will spend with each parent and how they will be financially supported. Child maintenance payments will need to be settled, either via a private agreement between the divorcing couple or through the government’s Child Maintenance Service scheme.

Mediation can help a divorcing couple agree child arrangements, while a written Parenting Plan can help parents clarify how their children are going to be cared for after the separation, as well as require that the best interests of the children are always put first.

Once child arrangements are agreed, a solicitor can help make the agreement legally binding by drafting a consent order, which must be signed by both parties and approved by the court. To get a consent order approved, a C100 court form will need to be completed (a solicitor can help with this) and submitted along with the draft consent order. The court fee is £215, and the consent order will normally be approved by a judge without a court hearing if they think decisions have been made in the children’s best interest.

Find out more about child arrangements following a divorce and the overall divorce process from our expert divorce solicitors in Liverpool City Centre:

Stamp Duty Holiday Extended

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced in his recent budget that the government is extending the temporary stamp duty holiday on the first £500,000 of all property sales in England and Northern Ireland by a further three months until the end of June 2021 (it was due to end on 31st March).

From 1st July until the end of September, the nil rate band will drop to £250,000 before returning to its standard rate of £125,000 from the start of October.

This move will come as welcome news for buyers and sellers rushing to complete on property transactions, many of whom faced the prospect of failing to complete before the March 31st deadline.

The tax cut has significantly increased activity in the UK property market recently, with large numbers of buyers seeking to take advantage of the reduced tax rate that can lead to savings of up to £15,000 on a property purchase.

Property transactions across the UK increased by almost 18% in January this year compared with the same month last year according to the latest figures from HMRC, proving that the market remains in robust good health, and indicative of the rush of buyers looking to complete their purchase before the original cut-off point.       

The stamp duty holiday also applies to second home buyers, although the extra 3% of stamp duty charged under the previous rules will still need to be paid. The stamp duty holiday temporarily replaces the first-time buyer discount.

You can find out more about Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), the property purchase process and our transparent fixed fee residential conveyancing service below:

Divorce & The Mediation Process

Mediation can help a divorcing couple reach a financial settlement and divide up assets in a neutral and impartial manner. Assets may include savings, investments, property and pensions (maintenance payments can also be agreed during mediation). The services of a mediator can be significantly cheaper and faster in terms of reaching an agreement than asking a judge to decide the matter in court.

The first step is to attend a mediation information assessment meeting (MIAM) costing around £30. The mediator will decide whether mediation is right for the divorcing couple, and if so, will attempt to help the couple reach an agreement during further mediation sessions (these will cost more and fees vary depending on location).

Successful mediation will produce a document showing what has been agreed, and while this agreement is not legally binding, a consent order approved by the court will make it so. A solicitor can help draft a consent order, which is a legal document confirming what was agreed during mediation. The court fee is £50, and a judge will approve the consent order and make it legally binding, usually without the need for a court hearing, if they believe it is fair.

Find out more about mediation and the divorce process from our expert divorce solicitors in Liverpool City Centre.

The Benefits Of Using A Divorce Solicitor

Do you have to have a solicitor to get divorced? No. Do you need a solicitor? Absolutely Yes. 

We believe that a solicitor’s advice and services offer huge benefits. Divorce is a process with many forms to fill out and many potential triggers for arguments. It is an emotionally-charged time, and an experienced solicitor can take much of the ‘heat’ out of the situation by avoiding or minimizing arguments which will lead to further estrangement between the divorcing couple.

One of the main goals of a successful divorce, especially when there are children involved, is to lay the foundations for a ‘professional’ relationship between the divorcing parties. The primary consideration in building such a relationship is obviously the good of the children.

Secondary to the welfare of children is, of course, a fair and equitable financial settlement. Each party’s needs must be met, and these negotiations should be carried out by solicitors for two main reasons. Firstly, each party will receive a settlement which is more likely to be seen as ‘fair’. If both parties feel that a settlement is fair they have a better chance of building a constructive relationship in the future. Secondly, if solicitors are negotiating and a judge perhaps ends up making the final decision, the argument is taken out of the hands of the divorcing couple altogether.

This offers a number of advantages. You do not need to worry because you have a solicitor with expertise and experience who will obtain the best result the system can offer. So you can disengage and de-stress to some extent. It also depersonalizes the whole experience. As a client of a reputable law firm, you may no longer be seen as the ‘enemy’. This is obviously particularly important when there are children involved.

Our divorce solicitors in Liverpool city centre outline the main steps in a divorce, starting with mediation – the guided, cheapest and most sensible option. Failing that, we talk you through the ‘process’ and what is involved.