Wendy Hewstone published an article in Law Plain and Simple entitled “Breaking the Myth that Legal Aid Has Been Abolished” describing when Legal Aid is available.
“There is a misunderstanding that Legal Aid has been cancelled since April 2013… For family cases, Legal Aid is still available either for a specific type of case or if you qualify on certain grounds”
Breaking the Myth that Legal Aid Has Been Abolished
There is a misunderstanding that Legal Aid has been cancelled since April 2013 when the law changed.
For Family cases, legal aid is still available, either for a specific type of case or if you qualify on certain grounds.
The cases where legal aid is still automatically available are:
Legal aid is also available for other family cases but not automatically.
Legal aid is obtainable for Divorce; Children and Finance cases provided you qualify through the “Domestic Abuse” gateway. Basically, if you can show your opponent (which need not necessarily be an ex-partner, it can be a family member) has caused you domestic violence and this has either occurred in the previous two years or been recorded (such as in a medical report or by a Court order) in the last two years, then you can qualify .
There are various ways you can qualify, including a Court order, medical report, convictions, staying in a refuge and so on. The link to the legal aid site below sets out the ways you can qualify. Again, you have to come within financial limits.
There is a final route for family legal where you can apply for exceptional funding. You would have to show you need support through the process, maybe because of mental health or learning difficulties or where the case is incredibly complex. . Not many applications have been granted yet.
Our firm still offers legal aid and you can also find a local legal aid firm on the Government website. If you do not qualify for legal aid, many firms offer low cost initial interviews.