Common law trouble and strife – Eastenders

It’s been a courtship of almost quarter of a century, but soon there will be wedding bells for everyone’s favourite Queen Vic landlord and landlady – Mick and Linda.  OK, so truth be told we actually preferred Kat and Alfie.  And Peggy and Phil.  And Sharon and Phil.  And Sharon and Grant.  And definitely Pat and Frank.  And Den and Ange…

Anyway.  “Why are they bothering to get married?” we sense you ask yourselves.  After all, they have been together for well over 20 years, have 4 children together, own a business and have a quite a unique and acquired taste in wallpaper.  They’re common law husband and wife aren’t they?

Well she can smell a legal myth from 50 paces.  Our resident soap lawyer, family law solicitor Rebecca Finnigan comments. Continue reading Common law trouble and strife – Eastenders

Shabnam wants her baby back – Eastenders

Suds Law is no stranger to the inaccurate portrayal of both the care system and foster caring in Soapland, and in Walford in particular.

Eastenders latest legal inaccuracy has got resident soap legal pedant, Rebecca Finnigan’s dander up and she has come out fighting.

Does anyone remember Phil Mitchell being approved as an appropriate carer for Lexi?

The recent storyline involving young Jade was no exception unfortunately. Continue reading Shabnam wants her baby back – Eastenders

Bye bye baby, baby goodbye? – Eastenders

Poor Cindy Junior has been through the mill (and should expect to be dragged through it a good few times more if she intends to stay in Eastenders’ Albert Square).  Her mother, Cindy Senior, died whilst giving birth to her and she was raised by her maternal family before fleeing family strife to find her half-sibling twins Lucy and Peter Beale.  When Lucy was murdered (no, we still don’t buy that it was Bobby in the front room with the jewellery box) she was a suspect for a time, and later gave birth at a tender age to baby Beth.

Having struggled to bond with Beth, Cindy suggested that she should be adopted by her mother’s ex-husband Ian Beale and his wife Jane.  But Cindy has been finding it difficult and as the process has moved on, she has reached the conclusion that she wants Beth to be adopted out of the family.  Can she do this?  What are the Beale’s rights?

Our resident family solicitor Rebecca Finnigan comments.

Continue reading Bye bye baby, baby goodbye? – Eastenders

Silly Billy goes willy nilly

Billy, Billy, Billy.  You foolish chap.  Did you not read the last instalment of Suds Law?  We suggested you might want to seek decent independent legal advice.  We certainly didn’t endorse attempting to throw yourself at Honey again, torching your daughter’s passport (Indoors – the landlord will be thrilled – let’s hope he was watching Emmerdale hey?) and then taking Janet and William off (in what we assume is Phil’s Jag) for a “holiday”.

When there’s a dodgy legal family issue in the world of soap, there’s only one cage to rattle.  That’s right, associate family law solicitor, member if the Law Society’s Advanced Family Panel and currently night feeder extraordinaire, we rudely interrupted her maternity leave (again) to ask Rebecca Finnigan.

Continue reading Silly Billy goes willy nilly

Honey’s boo boo

A familiar face waltzed onto Albert Square last week in the form of everyone’s favourite dippy ex-wife, Honey Mitchell.  Mother to Billy’s two nippers Janet and William, Billy thought his luck was in and Honey was seeking reconciliation.  He took cousin Roxy’s advice (a woman with slightly less than impeccable taste in men) and cooked his estranged missus a slap up candle lit meal.

At the crucial moment he lunged in declaring his love for Honey and trying for a smooch, only to be smacked around the gormless chops with the news that little William had (in the style of a young Kate Moss) been scouted by an international modelling agency and was off for 12 months to the thriving hub of the modelling industry.  Milan?  Paris?  New York?  No that well known fashion world capital… Canada.

Can Honey just up and leave, taking William and Janet with her, without seeking consent from dumbstruck Billy?

Continue reading Honey’s boo boo

Marriage on the Rox(y) already?

There’s nothing we love more at Sud’s Law than a good soap wedding.  But what’s not to like?  Invariable soap weddings involve a ludicrously coloured wedding dress, the slap-up reception at the local boozer (where else would you want to celebrate the happiest day of your life, than the pub you work in, live in and spend 99.9% of your time?), the guilty secret being hidden by one or both of the celebrants, and the ex-partner/mistress who may or may not pipe up at the crucial moment during the ceremony.

The Alfie Moon – Roxy Mitchell union ticked all the boxes and didn’t disappoint.  The Queen Vic looked a treat, draped in various shades of pastel taffeta, with more jellied eels and other such cockney fare than you could shake a stick at.

Rather predictably though (or maybe our foresight is borne from an unhealthy fascination with soap magazines and web-sites) Alfie Moon changed his mind at the airport en route to their honeymoon and left Roxy stranded, whilst he fought his way through airport security and forced his way onto a plane to declare his love for Kat who herself was on her way to visit sister/daughter Zoe in Ibiza.  This had our hearts pumping – surely Alfie would find himself on the wrong end of the airport police’s Tasers, man-handled into a police van and hauled before the nearest Magistrates in the morning.  We were all ready to ask our Crime department for their input on the implications of compromising airside security.  But realising he’s a harmless Jack-the-Lad and showing their romantic side, Southend airport security let him through and the two lovebirds were reunited.

Quickly realising this spells disaster for the Moon-Mitchell union, we asked our resident Family Law solicitor,  member of the Law Society’s Accredited Family Law Panel and soap expert Rebecca Finnigan for her input.

Continue reading Marriage on the Rox(y) already?

What’s the name of the game? – Part Two

Things went from bad to worse on Friday, when Michael Moon (fresh from his strangling of Janine on Thursday) received a knock on the door from a process server, who handed him the injunction Janine had taken out that very day.

Janine revelled in shouting very loudly outside “The Caff” that the injunction meant Michael couldn’t come within 6 feet of her house and wasn’t to threaten her, and if he did he would be looking at a five year stretch in HMP Walford.

Would a court take Janine’s word for it and hand out an injunction without hearing from Michael first?  Where does that leave him with contact to their little daughter Scarlett? Continue reading What’s the name of the game? – Part Two

What’s the name of the game?

We couldn’t believe our ears last night when Janine announced that she’d be changing their daughter Scarlett’s surname from Moon to Butcher.  After all, she said, she has the money.

In a long history of dodgy soap advice, and dubious Walford based legal advisors, Janine has been to see her solicitor (we wonder if he was the same one who represented Phil, the one who takes his clients out for a slap up Italian to celebrate a court victory?) and apparently she is so rich she can do as she pleases and is going to change Scarlett’s name regardless of what Michael might want.

We must admit we at Sud’s Law have a bit of a soft spot for Michael Moon, a creepy villain with a comic twist. We also like Janine Butcher, one of soap’s greatest bitches of all time. We like Michael Moon, and we like Janine Butcher. But who do we like the best? There’s only one way to find out….. Continue reading What’s the name of the game?

Will Janine or Michael be over the Moon?

Peering into our soapy crystal ball, the suds revealed our second favourite soap bitch* is making a return to Albert Square this week. Janine Butcher/Evans/Malloy/Moon is set to waltz back to Walford and demand the return of baby Scarlett from estranged husband, the excellently villainous Michael Moon.

Sud’s Law legal beagle, Rebecca Finnigan, can smell a legal dispute a mile off and here’s what she sniffed out for the Moon family. Can Janine demand the return of little Scarlett? Continue reading Will Janine or Michael be over the Moon?

Kirsty’s Briefs

In the legal profession we never underestimate the importance of word of mouth recommendations, and this was highlighted brilliantly last week by two of Eastenders classiest ladies – when Kirsty did the honours and gave Kat her ‘brief’s’ business card.

We’re now in mid-March 2013 and the Legal Aid scheme which has served many deserving individuals on low incomes well over many years is sadly in it’s death throes, only to be reborn again in April offering help to people with limited types of case. Come early April 2013, Kat won’t be eligible for legal aid to pursue a divorce. Continue reading Kirsty’s Briefs