When is legal aid available in family cases?
Legal Aid is still automatically available for
- public law matters for parents and children concerning care proceedings - if you are a parent or child who is a party in a care case, you will qualify for legal aid regardless of your financial circumstances. If you are not, and become involved in this type of case, your eligibility for legal aid will depend upon your financial circumstances as well as the merits of your case. For more information please contact us
- for injunction applications following domestic violence – your eligibility for legal aid will depend upon the merits of your case as well as your financial circumstances. Whilst there is no upper income limit, there is a capital test. For more information please contact us. You can also find the Legal Aid Agency’s financial eligibility calculator at www.justice.gov.uk/legal-aid/assess-your-clients-eligibility-calculator
If these types of cases apply to you, you will not be required to provide any of the evidence referred to below. Please make an appointment to see us for further advice and assistance.
For all other types of family law matters (except mediation), Legal Aid is now only available in the following two situations:
1. If there has been domestic violence
If you are a victim of domestic violence and are divorcing or separating or have separated from an abusive partner you can get Legal Aid to help you. This can be to help you with divorce or things such as child contact or how to share money or property.
Before you can get legal aid, you must be able to give us evidence that you have been a victim of domestic violence by your partner, husband or former partner or husband who will be the other party to your case.
Domestic violence does not only include physical violence. The abuse may be emotional, psychological, sexual or financial. This includes a wide range of situations and you should not hesitate to contact us if you are unsure if this may apply to you.
If you think that this applies to you, please see the domestic violence evidence section.
2. If Child Abuse has taken place
If child abuse has taken place, you can get Legal Aid to help with cases to protect the child you are concerned about such as seeking to prevent child contact. You can even get Legal Aid if you are a grandparent or family member applying for orders to protect a child. The child abuse does not always have to relate to your own child, or even to the child who is the subject of your case.
Child abuse means physical or mental abuse which may be sexual but may also be abuse in the form of violence, neglect, maltreatment or exploitation.
Before you can get Legal Aid, you must be able to give us evidence that child abuse has taken place. The evidence needs to relate to the other party in the case, which will often be a parent to the child concerned.
If you think this applies to you, please see the child abuse evidence section.
- Please note, eligibility for legal aid will still depend upon the merits of your case and your financial circumstances. You will find the Legal Aid Agency’s financial eligibility calculator at www.justice.gov.uk/legal-aid/assess-your-clients-eligibility-calculator
Alternatively, please contact us to enable us to complete the calculation for you.