Is Legal Aid still available in family cases?
Following the Government changes in April 2013, the availability of Legal Aid was drastically reduced. Legal Aid is now only available in limited circumstances. This applies to all solicitor firms.
Legal Aid is available when social services are involved with your children.
Subject to financial eligibility Legal Aid is also available to help with:
- Family mediation to assist in resolving disputes about children and finances following a relationship breakdown. Mediation is delivered via trained mediators. We can signpost you for such services.
- Forced marriage applications.
- If your child has been or is about to be taken out of the country without your consent.
- Some High Court proceedings about the welfare of your child.
- If you have been served with proceedings under the Hague Convention.
Legal Aid is available to protect from domestic abuse or harassment issues, as long as you have evidence to support the same and you are financially eligible.
You may also be able to obtain Legal Aid in relation to divorce, children or financial matters, if you are financially eligible and can provide one of the following pieces of evidence:
- Injunction Order/Non-Molestation Order issued in the last 2 years;
- Restraining Order
- Domestic Violence Protection Order
- Harassment Notice
- Criminal Conviction against opponent for an offence against you
- Supporting letter from:
– GP or other medical professional
– Social Services
– Refuge in which you are staying or have stayed
To view further information about the availability of Legal Aid and the changes, please visit the Gov.uk website where they have an eligibility calculator at www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau or alternatively call the Civil Legal Advice helpline on 0345 345 4345.