Legal Aid after 1st April 2013

Legal aid for Family Law cases is being very severely cut back on 1st April. After then, even if you are on benefits or a low income you will simply not be able to get legal aid for advice or representation at court about many legal issues.

Here are some of the things you can get legal aid for now, but not if you go to a solicitor to start a new case on or after 1st April (unless your case falls into one of the exceptional categories which are explained below):

  • Divorce
  • Child residence
  • Child contact
  • Finances on divorce or separation
  • Civil partnership

Legal aid will still be available for victims of domestic abuse but there are very strict guidelines for assessing what amounts to domestic abuse to enable legal aid to be granted. It will be available for victims of abuse to make applications to court for injunctions, and for people accused of domestic abuse to be represented.

It will still be available if your children are taken into care and you need representation in court.

It will also be available for mediation, and for a solicitor to give you independent advice while you’re going through mediation and afterwards, to put the agreement you reached into a legally binding document.

Even for those issues still covered by legal aid there are going to be stricter financial assessments for clients. Previously if you were on income based jobseekers allowance you would automatically qualify for legal aid. After 1st April, you will have to have your capital assessed as well even if you’re receiving jobseekers allowance.

At Fraser Brown we offer legal aid and we are pleased to say we will continue to do so after April for clients who qualify. We are here to help guide you through the maze and assess whether you qualify.

If you think you qualify and you need help with divorce, separation, children issues or any family law problem, contact us NOW before it’s too late! We need to get your application for legal aid sent off before 28th March to qualify under the present rules.

You will need to provide detailed financial information for us to assess you for legal aid eligibility. If you don’t qualify we can offer a range of funding options to help you finance your case. We will give you a FREE HALF HOUR interview whether you qualify or not. Call us today.

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